Monday, 5 December 2011

Out of My Area: "Working" Part 3 - Horseshoe Point and Cleethorpes Discovery Park

Well I've been playing on the Humber again folks, this weekend it was Horseshoe Point and Cleethorpes Discovery Park.
Leaving the house at 5 30 I arrived in North Coates at around 7 15, spotting two barney's ranging by the roadside on the way (unfortunately the car behind was so far up my boot I couldn't stop to take pictures). Saturday's survey period started with a lost seal pup, washed off the beach at Donna Nook, causing me to spend the early part of my day redirecting dog walkers. Wet and bedraggled, it decided to try to nip at my ankles and forge on toward the steep sided, newly cut ditch rather than back onto the salt marsh.
The weather was classic maritime Humber, chilled but sunny, and I had wonderful chats with local kite surfers, dog walkers, bait diggers and birders (a big thanks to the guys from Retford who returned at lunch time with a surprise gift of PIE AND CHIPS! I seem to meet the best people!). The Little Egrets were super showy, keeping to the dykes and pools close to the car park, and there were large numbers of Golden Plover, Lapwing and Linnet. Then, just before lunch, a female Hen Harrier put everything up before heading off north along the embankment. All day Redshank alarm-called from the dykes as the walkers strolled obliviously past, and as the evening closed in a Kestrel hovered overhead in the last of the daylight and the Lapwings "whiiired" in the nearby fields.
My last interview of the day was of a local who informed me of the recent trapping and relocation of the water-vole population whilst the dykes are being re-dug. I'll have to go back with my camera and a large stock of coffee and patience when they are returned to their haunts.

Grey Seal s have no fear of blondes or clip boards, do not attempt to use them to shoo pups away from hazards

The light is so wonderful in here in the mornings

A great end to a great day.

Sunday was spent by the boating lake at Cleethorpes Discovery Park, a site that would never be my first choice for a day out. However, the locals were great once again. Keen to hear what I was up to (and why I was stood for 9 and a half hours in the drizzle). The boating lake provided a large flock of Greylag Geese, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Muscovy Duck, and what I believe to be three Gadwall/Mallard hybrids (although I'll happily be corrected on that, they were around 40 cm in length). As the families fed the ducks and their attendant pigeons and gulls a Sparrowhawk flashed overhead (unnoticed by everyone except me and the least distracted birds), and settled in one of the pines by the water.In the afternoon I had great views of battling Moorhen and as the light waned a flock of Barnacle Geese dropped in, accompanied by a particularly lovely Ross/Barnacle hybrid. No free food, but a lovely slice of Victoria sponge at the cafe saw me through the worst of the rain.

And don't they just know it...

A Coot in need of a good scratch

and Moorhens having a good scrap

MallardxGadwall? They're teeny!

Tufty 1 and 2

Pochard 1

Pochard 2

Ross cross
Ross Cross 2

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