Late February and early March saw familiar themes at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire. Good numbers of Curlew Numenius arquata remained at the southern end of the site, whilst the reservoirs still held the Scaup Aythya marila and Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina during the early part of March.
As expected, the first arrivals of spring have appeared with Shelduck Tadorna tadorna, Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus and a few Dunlin Calidris alpina now on site. For the latest Tophill news, check out the official website.
February was pretty dire for gulls, but an adult Mediterranean Gull Ichthyaetus melanocephalus appeared on February 27th, joined by another on the 28th, and a minimum of five birds of different ages were noted over the weekend of March 6th-8th, which coincided with the highest roosting total of Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus this winter.
A few Pale Brindled Beauty Phigalia pilosaria continue to be taken at light, while new additions to the year list included The Chestnut Conistra vaccinii.
This stand of Velvet Shank Flammulina velutipes is one of the few mushrooms to be found on site during the period, and this one of the few clumps noted in recent weeks.
Finally, this Grass Snake Natrix natrix was disturbed basking in early March and the hoverfly Eristalis tenax was noted – the start of spring!