Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A more routine day. 27/5/2011.

Flushed with the excitement of yesterday we had no great expectations for today, as little was likely to compare. Whilst there was nothing of especial interest on the east coast we decided to have a visit nonetheless.

Our first port of call en route was North Cave, a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Reserve with an accompanying local community involvement. Always a pleasure to visit, I was interested in the presence of several Pochard, as I had been at some sites in East Anglia, wondering whether this is a species that is possibly increasing its breeding numbers?
We moved on to the Tophill Low Reserve, administered by Yorkshire Water. Again it was interesting to see Gadwall and Pochard numbers, species that, when first I started travelling around Yorkshire, weren't at all prevalent. As usual we had a wide variety of species given the various lagoons are surrounded by woodland and other cover. Finally , after walking the whole site , we had a single Turtle Dove overflying us and heading for cover. This is certainly a species not met up with as easily or frequently as in the past. Of accompanying interest was the presence of Marsh Frogs, and their cacophonous calling from one of the areas near the car park, and Grass Snakes, who appear to make their home deep within the piles of grass clippings which are stacked up on the site.

Our final visit was to Bempton Cliffs RSPB Reserve, the home of Guillemot, Razorbill, Kittiwake Fulmar ,Gannets and , not least, Puffins. Excellent views can be had from the cliff top viewing platforms and it's always a fascinating experience to watch the behaviour of any of these species from such close vantage points. Of equal interest were tremendous views of a singing Grasshopper Warbler, in fact the best I've ever had. It persisted in sitting out atop vegetation and in full view, and singing for quite long intervals. Whilst we're all conversant with the species turning its head whilst singing in order to "distribute" its song more effectively I didn't realise that, whilst singing, its tail was visibly trembling or vibrating throughout. A great experience to bring a good day to a close.

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