Monday, March 28, 2011

Wonderfull Hatfield and Patch Great-grey.......

Female Common Groundhopper,Hatfield Moor NNR.

Cuckoo Bee-Nomada leucophthalma,Hatfield Moor NNR.
A trip out today with Chris and Dave to the excellent Hatfield Moor NNR,saw us having a great day.We started proceedings at the nearby Huggin Carr which is adjacent to the NNR and enjoyed superb views of at least 9 Black-necked Grebe,our first good bird of the day.The Grebe's are frequenting a lake which ,sadly,is being developed,so future disturbance will put an end to this site being used by the species.The grebe's showed very well,with them already matched up into pairs,with much calling between them and 1 pair was watched displaying briefly,superb stuff and a real privilege to enjoy these birds.Also around the lake were our first Sand Martin's of the year,with 5 birds being seen,2 smart,singing male Corn Bunting,with their distinct,jangling song,2 Chiffchaff and 5 Goldeneye.A good start!.So it was on to the reserve after running the gauntlet of the Hounds of the Baskerville's again for a second time and down to business.The first place we looked was Boston Park lake,with another 2 Black-necked Grebe being observed here,our first Little-ringed Plover of the year on one of the small islands,at least 51 Sand Martin and the Aythya hybrid from earlier in the year.We then made the long walk down to the other end of the reserve at Ten acre lake,finding a Grey Plover on one of the adjacent pools,a good bird for an inland site and seeing a couple of Common Buzzard and a distant,hunting female Marsh Harrier(With another being seen later).As we arrived at the far end of the lake,the star bird of the day was seen,the gorgeous summer plumaged Red-necked Grebe.We watched him,as he swam around his territory,catching several fish,which included a good sized Roach and was also quite vocal,as on last years visit.If only he could find a mate!.Other birds seen during the day included a further 5 Common Buzzard,2 Redpoll and a handfull of Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker's.Insects were well represented today,with 2 Small Tortoiseshell and a Peacock representing the butterflies and first sightings of the year which included 2 Green-tiger Beetle's and about 50 Common-Groundhopper.I also managed to find a new species today,in the form of a Cuckoo Bee,Nomada leucophthalma,which is a parasite of Andrena clarkella.We also managed to see 1 male Adder.An excellent day at this superb reserve!.
Turkeytail,Hatfield NNR.
 After i arrived home,i had just finished my tea and was dozing after all the walking,i got a timely phone call from Neil to say that a Great-grey Shrike was on my patch!.I was there within about 5 minutes and the bird was sat atop a Hawthorn bush and didn't stay put for long,as a passing train flushed it.Luckily i quickly refound the bird sat in another Hawthorn,from which it stayed and went to roost.What a cracker and an unexpected end to the day!!.

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