No matter how many times you visit your patch, the place you know well, surprises always occur.
That was the case at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire today. After somewhere in the region of 60 evenings in the sheds looking at the gull roost on D reservoir over the winter and not seeing much out of the ordinary, Doug Fairweather picked out this Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena coming out of the evening sun to take roost in the shelter of the east wall. First observed at the site in March 1969, around 32 were recorded up until 1997. However, since the turn of the millenium, the species has been logged on only two or three occasions. A cracking bird, moulting into summer-plumage… the pictures don’t do it justice as the light faded.
More records pictures can be seen on warden Richard Hampshire’s official Tophill Blog, with many other interesting photos from the week.
Depsite masses of gulls around due to the ploughing of local fields, few gulls came in to roost, though an adult Little Gull Larus minutus appeared on the reservoir at 5pm.
A 1st winter Peregrine Falco peregrinus remains in the area, today seen over Watton Nature Reserve, whilst Doug also picked out 2 Little Ringed Plover Charadruis dubius which appeared on both WNR and on the treatment works gravel.
Despite the cold overnight conditions, which included snow showers, moth trapping continues. Any window of opportunity is taken, though it was somewhat of a surprise to find two Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica amongst the eggbox collection after a night with sub-zero temperatures.