Today I had company for my morning walk to Eske: Julia Foster, one of my friends I did my degree with. The weather was really nice with bright sunshine and little wind making for a pleasant temperature.
On the walk to the lake we came across a few Meadow Pipits and a number of Fieldfares along with a couple of Redwings. The most interesting species, though, was a Little Egret sitting next to a flooded patch on pasture to the west of the River Hull. Although Little Egrets have become a fairly common sight where I come from in Kent, here in East Yorkshire they aren’t so common.
Up at the lake large numbers of waterbirds were present with a couple of hundred Greylag Geese in the company of 3 Pink-footed Geese and 1 hybrid Greylag x Canada Goose. Also on the lake were 8 Mute Swans, 9 Cormorants, 7 Great Crested Grebes, 70-80 Wigeon, about 30 Shoveler, 2 Pochard, 40+ Tufted Ducks, 100+ Mallard, 1 female Gadwall and, best of all, 1 beautiful male Pintail. A number of gulls were also wheeling around with 2 Herring Gulls, 8 Common Gulls and about 20 Black-headed Gulls; a single Redshank was also sitting by the lakeside.
Walking further north a small party of Long-tailed Tits were accompanied by a Chiffchaff and at the Leven Canal we managed to spot a distant Barn Owl roosting in a tree: its bright white plumage reflecting the sun gave it away at about 500 metres!
On the way back we spotted a number of small common birds such as Pied Wagtail, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Wren, Robin and Dunnock and a group of 4 Skylarks were brought out by the sunshine.
Not a bad walk with Little Egret, a winter Chiffchaff, male Pintail and a Barn Owl we got some decent birds.