Considering the close proximity of Hornsea Mere which can get huge numbers of Little Gulls, particularly in Autumn, it is something of a surprise that I haven’t seen at least one at Eske before. Well, today as soon as I got up to the lake I saw my first Little Gull for the area, just flying around over the lake dippinginto the water now and again. After a while it began to circle, gaining height until it disappeared.
On the way up to the lake plenty of birds were about. The air was very still, perfect weather for clouds of insects and the birds that feed on them. Hundreds of Starlings were feeding on the mown grass of the Beverley Polo Club as was a pair of Oystercatchers and plenty of Rooks. The clouds of insects obviously appealed to the Swifts as a large group were swooping around at low altitude screaming and gobbling up flies.
Further up a male Yellowhammer was calling from a flowering hawthorn tree, its bright yellow against the green and white of the tree was quite a beautiful sight. Checking out the owl tree revealed a single Little Owl staring back at me, sitting in exactly the same place as a few days ago.
5 pairs of Great-crested Grebes were noisily growling at each other on the lake. 5 Coots, 3 Moorhens, a few Greylag Geese, about 20 Mallard and 16 Tufted Ducks were the only other birds on the lake until a male Gadwall flew over and 2 Cormorants came in to dry their wings. A single Canada Goose is obviously incubating on the island in the lake and as there don’t seem to be any other Canada Geese around I wonder if it will produce hybrid offspring.
Another bird of interest was a Common Sandpiper feeding on the water’s edge, but an Oystercatcher didn’t seem to like it as it chased the sandpiper around. A Pied Wagtail and a male Yellow Wagtail were aslo present on the waterside.
Lots of warblers continue to sing, with Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler all seen.
In a field just beyond the lake about 20 Lapwings were feeding with an Oystercatcher, numerous Jackdaws, Rooks and Carrion Crows and also 4 Whimbrel. Whilst watching these a male Marsh Harrier cruised past and dipped down into some scrub where it obviously caught something as it didn’t come up again for some time.
On the way back a pair of Tree Sparrows were in dispute with a Reed Bunting and two male Chaffinches were in a fight that seemed like it might go until the death of one of the participants. In the end one flew away, minus a few feathers. In the owl tree, the Little Owl had been joined by its mate and further along a male Sparrowhawk was hunting.