It was a wildfowl weekend at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire. Plenty of birds around with counts on D reservoir including 167 Gadwall Anas strepera, 11 Pintail Anas acuta and 126+ Goldeneye Bucephala clangula at dusk on Saturday evening. A noticeable increase in Aythya appeared on Sunday, including a first-winter male Ring-necked Duck A. collaris and a drake Scaup A. marila with couple of hybrid types.
A Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynus was on Watton Nature Reserve on Saturday, with a couple of Redshank Tringa totanus, while I eventually caught up with a Water Rail Rallus aquaticus – amazing how long it takes to catch up with a species when you are looking for it!!!
Neil Hart picked up a female Merlin Falco columbarius on Saturday… seems to have been a few sightings this year and it is a scarce bird… could do to get that species added to the year list!!
Larid wise, it was again hard work. However, an adult Little Gull Larus minutus appeared just before 5pm on Sunday evening… in Tophill history surely rarer in February than a Ring-necked Duck on D res!
Despite the threat of snow, moth trapping recommenced. Three Pale-brindled Beauty Apocheima pilosaria included one of the melanic form monacharia, while an Agonopterix alstromeriana was year ticked in a hide.