Aythya and Orange Cup

Scaup Aythya marila Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire December 2013

Late November and early December can prove to be transitional times at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire. With little in the way of inverts to look for more time is given to birding and spending time looking a D res. A female Scaup Aythya marila has been present for a while now, though not all the time, presumably disappearing out of view onto the River Hull when it can’t be found on site.

Scaup Aythya marila Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire December 2013

This bird was joined by another 1st winter female on December 8th. The mild weather means there hasn’t really been an influx of wildfowl, though 78 Goldeneye Bucephala clangula present at dusk at the end of November demonstrated birds are on the move.

After lean times on the Larid front, two new Mediterranean Gull  Ichthyaetus melanocephalus have appeared in roosts since the start of November, while a probable ‘Viking’ Gull (Glaucous x Herring Gull) was present briefly on 5th December. However, despite the strong winds, which peaked at 68 mph at nearby Leconfield, the number of birds roosting was incredibly low given the weather conditions. The latest Tophill news can be found by clicking here.

The Odonata season showed signs of new late records. Alas, we recorded the final Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum on 16th November. Warden Richard Hampshire recorded them six days later, but weather conditions conspired against pushing the VC61 further. The late records can be seen by viewing the Yorkshire BDS sightings page.

Doug Fairweather and myself had a good tour of Hempholme Meadow during the first weekend of December in search of fungi. When the area had trees, a tour of the area yielded many species, which included this small stand of the scarcely recorded Hemipholiota populnea found by Doug a few years ago, post felling, and identified by an expert on the subject.

Hemipholiota populnea

Times change and now the area is a wet meadow. However, a few species were noted, including Melastiza cornubiensis Orange Cup.

Melastiza cornubiensis Orange Cup Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire December 2013

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