Friday, February 08, 2013

Tophill Low goodies.....

Record shot of 2nd calendar year Drake Ring-necked Duck.

Record shot of Woodcock.
After hearing that a 2nd calendar year Drake Ring-necked Duck has been present at this cracking Yorkshire Water reserve i decided to pop over for it today despite the dodgy forecast.As i neared the reserve as it was getting light,a nice view of a Barn Owl started the bird sightings off for the day.After purchasing my day permit i began by looking for the Ring-necked and within 20 minutes i was watching this dapper drake albeit at a bit of a distance.I first picked the bird out as it slept with a mixed flock of Tufties,Wigeon,Gadwall and Goldeneye by it's distinct,peaked rear crown and combination of dusky flanks and white spur at the front of the flanks.After a short while he became more active and was watched diving for food and also chasing a female Tufted Duck,which involved much displaying,excellent stuff.Also on the res was the Scaup x Tufted Duck hybrid,which almost looked good for Lesser scaup if you half closed your eyes and a pair of Pintail and 63 Goldeneye.After watching the 'D' i then decided to walk down to Hempholme Lock seeing 2 Little Egret en route flying down the river Hull,but little else in the way of birds.On the fields at Hempholme,3 Brown Hare and 2 Roe Deer added some mammal interest to the days sightings.As i journeyed back through D-res woods it began to rain,sleet,snow and rain and i made my way back to D-res hide,seeing a couple of Siskin through the showers.On my second visit to the hide the Drake Ring-necked Duck was far more distant and took quite a while before i picked it out asleep again.The only different bird i saw while scanning the res this time,was a Barn Owl watched flying along the perimeter of the reservoir.In the car park area,my first Snowdrops of the late winter/early spring were seen and a couple of male Great-spotted Woodpeckers had a drumming contest,great to hear!.Finally i had a look from the visitor centre and managed to see the 2 Woodcock which have been showing here.They were watched as they occasionally appeared from their hedgerow feeding area,really nice to see and not something you get the chance to observe very often.Another great day out and thanks to Richard for the cuppa.

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