Hoverfly! Winter over?

It seems a long time since early January when catching a good variety of moths and seeing a butterfly at the beginning of the year. But some warm sunshine brought out the first hoverfly of the season when this Eristalis tenax was found basking in the afternoon sun at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire on Saturday.

Eristalis tenax Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire Feb 2013

Sadly, that was the highlight on the invert front. A cold Friday night meant it was a bit pointless moth trapping, though we did encounter several Agonopterix heracliana when searching in suitable locations.

The current Tophill attraction seems to be the 1st winter male Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris. Eventually, the bird did come close enough to a hide for a photograph, which was the best I could manage given that it spent most of the weekend asleep!

Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire Feb 2013

Having heard a few Pink-footed Geese Anser brachyrhynchus on the move over the house on Saturday morning, I failed to catch up with any number at Tophill, but one was on WNR with the Greylags A. anser with a White-fronted Goose A. albifrons early afternoon. The redhead Smew Mergus albellus showed well both days, but the continued highlight is the number of Pintail Anas acuta and Goldeneye Bucephala clangula on D res which make for an welcome spectacle. A drake and 1st winter Scaup A. marila showed over the weekend, plus the interesting hybrids… more pics on the official Tophill website.

Numerous Woodcock Scolopax rusticola were found during the search for fungi, while the adult Little Gull Larus minutus roosted both Saturday and Sunday, the latter evening included an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull L. fuscus graellsii. The best raptor of the weekend also attended the Sunday gull roost – a Peregrine Falco peregrinus which surprisingly caused little disturbance.

Despite searching, and not being side-tracked by uncommon ducks… fungi is in short supply. This Flammulina velutipes Velvet Shank the best of it.

Flammulina velutipes Velvet Shank Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire Feb 2013

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