Trip reports

Top Hill Low and North Cave

Top Hill Low and North Cave
Glaucous Gull - Steve Settle

Saturday, 10 February 2018

We met up at Birch Services in snowy, sleety conditions, but as is usually the case, the weather conditions changed as we dropped over the tops on the M62. **

As we approached Yorkshire Water's Tophill Low Reserve a few hundred golden plover flew over, and the fields full of woodpigeon, carrion crows, rooks, jackdaws

At the reserve, the new visitors centre overlooks the big 'D' reservoir. The first noticeable bird from the hide was the glaucous gull which appeared to be feeding on one of its smaller cousins.
Other gulls present, were greater black-backed gull, black-headed gull, lesser black-backed gull, and common gull

The reservoir also held large numbers of tufted duck, wigeon, goldeneye, pochard, gadwall, and shoveler. But strangely no mallard.

Pheasant, goldfinch, siskin, great tit, blue tit, coal tit, reed bunting, and chaffinch could be found at the feeding stations.

On the smaller 'O' reservoir were a few great crested grebe, and similar ducks to the 'D' reservoir but in smaller numbers

On Watton Marshes there was pintail, teal, mallard, redshank, curlew, lapwing, little egret, cormorant, grey heron, shelduck, oystercatcher, and pied wagtail.

There were plenty of geese in the form of greylag geese, and Canada Geese, and no doubt a few Greenland whitefront geese but these like most of the others were hunkered down facing away and so not identifiable as such.

A sparrowhawk flew through, upping all the lapwing.

There was nothing of note on the outer pool/marshes that had viewing access
But moorhen, teal, mute swan, and a party of long tailed tits were seen on the inner pools.

We then drove off to North Cave Reserve with buzzard, kestrel, and red kite being seen airborne on the journey, along with a field full of fieldfare.

At Yorkshire Wildlife Trust's North Cave Reserve, we were made aware of a green-winged teal, which though visible, and its vertical stripe easily identifiable, didn't give great views, barely moving from its resting place in the far reeds.

Also present were teal, mallard, pochard, tufted duck, coot, moorhen and little grebe.

Redshank, oystercatcher, and lapwing were found on the new scrapes, and a green woodpecker flew across the scrapes giving good views when it landed.

It was then back home to the snow.

8 attended, 57 species seen.

** I'm not flying the flag for Yorkshire, it just as often happens the other way around, leaving the sunshine behind, to have a wet miserable day on the dark side.