Thursday, 26 March 2009

Naff Patching

For those long time readers of this blog (thanks Mum) you will remember that I moved to Nafferton, East Yorkshire from York last May. Ive not really had a new patch with Tophill Low being a regular calling place but not somewhere I am actively trying to patch watch (mainly because its too heavily covered already). Well today I think I have found the place I want - and its a mere 200 yards from my front door. When I did the bird atlas for Nafferton in late Janvier I noticed the sewage works just the other side of the railway line from my house and had a wander down. Today I returned with a bit of time to spare as these bird atlas things are all a rush job. Adjacent to the lane up to the tratment works is a small beck which is reputed to have Kingfisher on it and im fairly sure is the source of the juvenile Grey Wagtail in my garden last summer (a rare breeding bird in East Yorks according to Michael Flowers). It definitely contains some small fish - probably sticklebacks as the outflow from the treatment works enters here pretty much ruling out oxygen loving minnows. Today I found a couple of Moorhens on the beck plus a pair of Mallards looking like they were prospecting for nesting sites. Between the beck and the railway line is a large dryish reed bed which undoubtedly holds breeding Reed Warbler- why am I so sure? Because I believe this to be the location of the Cuckoo which I could hear from the house but not see before i relalised there was any habbo in the locale. This has also got to drag in other passage migrants and has wet areas so Water Rail is possible. The otherside of the beck is a stand of leylandii which screen the treatment works which seem a dead cert for some phylloscs, goldcrest and hopefully a Firecrest one day. The sewage treatment works look good for wagtails, warblers and hirundines and possibly more with a few Mallards sat on a tank. Its pretty small and has a STRONG smell so an equally strong constitution is needed when getting up close and personal with it. Sadly no wader habbo on the treatment works. The same however cannot be said for the flashes in the field behind which is like a mini black dyke ings but with a couple of the flashes having Reedmace in. No waders on the open flash (although a little stint or wood sand must call in one day!) but a snipe shot out of the reedmace filled pool. The only problem is the profusion of places like this locally which obviously dilutes the chance of good waders. On the field itself were lots of displaying Lapwings so it looks like they breed here. A good passage of Gulls was going over to roost at Tophill which is only 7 miles as the crow flies away. A large copse sits across the beck from the field and looks like it is managed regularly so may get disturbance. I thought I caught a glimpse of a Sparrowhawk in the treetops so this maybe the source of local birds.If this place doesnt ring out to singing Willow Wobblers in the summer I will be surprised. Allied to all this stuff the railway line which runs between the patch and my house is fringed in hawthorn scrub which will encourage whitethroats and the like - perhaps a Turtle Dove one day! One can only dream. I will get some photos for next time.


Bryan Rains said...

Good Luck with the patch. I'm sure you'll turn up a few interesting things through the year - I'll be watching!

Michael Flowers said...

Is it OK to mention this site to my Naff birders? I'm ready for tomorrow, in the sense of looking forward to seeing the birds in a habitat virtually completely new to me, but wondering how much clobber to take, and do you have packed lunch, as I can't imagine you all eating in a pub?

James said...

yeah - its fine to mention it to them - they probably know already. It will be a packed lunch job. I imagine it'll be in the car park at the stang(hopefully with crossbills trying to land on us like last year). Other than that its a case of optics, sensible clothes and all your best anecdotes.

How brains and birds become mutually exclusive