The plan was to have a quiet day out at Potteric Carr and it was, the forecast was good, I think the word warm was in there somewhere but it wasn’t, plenty of Chiffchaff making their presence known now fresh in from sunny/warm Africa. We watched a family of Squirels near the visitor centre, three young ones playing chase, doing tumbles and acrobatics, fun to watch, they moved high into the trees then with Mum and Dad so we moved on resting in the Old Eaa Hide (Map Link), here we saw Gadwall, Teal, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Black-headed Gulls, Coot and Moorhens. Willow Pool hide was our next stop before dinner, this is the best place to see small birds has they come in to feed Reed Bunting, Willow Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Robin, there was also a Great-spotted Woodpecker today.
It was on our way home, we had to come back home a different route due to the M18 south being shut, that we decided on a detour to Blacktoft Sands for some raptors so we headed North seeing a Buzzard coast over the motorway just after leaving Potteric as we did so.
Blacktoft Sands RSPB is near Ousefleet, the other side of Goole and on the South side of the Humber not on the North bank like the village, first mistake back in 1986 and is one of my top 5 reserves. Tree Sparrows greet you now at Blacktoft has you park the car up and along with Greenfinch and Pheasants at the feeders we were soon made welcome has we made our way onto the reserve. We settled in to the Townend Hide (Map Link) watching out for raptors, it was now about 5:30pm and we had seen plenty of Marsh Harriers male and females coming and going with Avocets overhead, then we caught site of a different bird following a couple of female Marsh Harriers a different flight, long rounded wings, small body, a welcome sight of a Short Eared Owl, this turned out to be the highlight of the night as we saw no Hen Harriers or Merlins, we left at 6:15pm stopped off for tea in Ousefleet then headed home 🙂
The day list (in no particular order) :-
Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Willow Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Moorhen, Coot, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Little Grebe, Tufted Duck, Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard, Teal, Blackbird, Robin, Reed Bunting, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Pheasant, Magpie, Crow, Black-headed Gull, Chiffchaff, Wren, Jackdaw, Shelduck, Shoveler, Buzzard, Tree Sparrow, Greenfinch, Marsh Harrier, Short-eared Owl, Avocet, Shelduck, Cormorant
Female Marsh Harrier