Thursday, 11 March 2010

Wellied up at Wheldrake Ings

Had a nice little run out to Wheldrake Ings after an early finish from work on Friday. Chanced across a flock of around 150 Golden Plover in a field opposite Raker Lakes. A scan of the flock revealed a few Fieldfares, Jackdaws and Starlings. A few of the Plover just coming into summer plumage and beginning to look spangly backed in the sunshine. Picked out a solitary Stock Dove in a flock of Wood Pigeons as they came in to settle a few hundred yards away from the Plover flock. Good to see a number of Brown Hares in the neighbouring field. some spirited chasing, but no boxing, unlike those on the commute around Beningborough or Thirkleby on the A19.

There is a lot of work to control water management of the reserves at present, so the Natural England section of the reserve, which normally has two hides accessible and a viewing platform, only had the platform accessible. This section has been flooded for months, with the hides inaccessible. Wigeon, Tufted Duck, BH Gull, Common Gull and several crow species on show. Mixed tit and finch flocks passing through the trees around the car park. Relatively quite though compared to the 300+ gulls seen on Tuesday last week there.

The main Yorkshire Wildlife Trust site held Water Rail, heard sharming by the bridge, but not seen and a brief view of a Barn Owl passing through. Waterfowl-wise: 2 Pintail drakes, a pair of Goosander, a pair of Gadwall, a pair of Goldeneye and several Wigeon and Tufties. Only a few Canada and 2 Greylag Geese counted plus a pair of Shelducks. A Grey Heron remained motionless for a good hour, before flying off over the convent and a few Curlew mingled amongst 6 Black-tailed Godwits.

I managed to access the first two hides and walk as far as the windpump, hence the wellies. Got a cracking rash for my troubles, thanks to my latex allergy!

A mixed tit and finch flock visited the feeding table in the woodland by the access road. Not a single wintering swan on the day, just a pair of Mutes.

video

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