After early success, Gullmas at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire rather petered out post-Boxing Day. A probable adult Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus was present late-afternoon on Saturday 29th over decoy fields distantly but not confirmed. A 1st winter showed briefly in the same area on the 30th and two were in the D res roost on New Year’s Eve. Maybe 4-6 birds were noted over the period, but despite using new tactics post-New Year, none have been seen in 2013.
A Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginous appeared mid-afternoon on the 29th, up to 3 Pintail Anas acuta remained into the the New Year and Aytha continue to build with Pochard A ferina increasing from 30 on D to 146 by Jan 4th. Click here for the official bird news on the start of the Tophill Low New Year.
With mild weather to begin 2013, it could only mean one thing – an early start to the moth trapping season! And it began with a bang with two species being attracted to light for only the second time in Tophill history on Thursday night. Both Mottled Umber Erannis defoliaria and Early Moth Theria primaria have been recorded once, the former in 2009 and the latter in 2010. However, the opening traps of the year contained both species, along with Winter Moth Operophtera brumata, The Chestnut Conistra vaccinii and Agonopterix heracliana.
A Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta was on the wing at the southern end of the site when I inadvertently flushed in basking on a fence, while other early-January surprises included Hawthorn Shieldbug Acanthosoma haemorrhoide and Orange Ladybird Halyzia 16-guttata in the overnight moth traps.
A walk around the site also yielded over 20 species of fungi. The highlight being a covering of Scarlet Elf Cup Sarcoscypha coccinea which are starting to appear.