Lower Derwent Valley NNR - July Sightings
The pick of the waterfowl was a female Garganey with a brood of eight at Bank Island early in the month, with two of the young later colour-ringed overnight with at least one individual remaining between there and Wheldrake at month end. The usual mid-summer build-up of Egrets and Herons on the pool at Wheldrake included at least 15 Little Egret, with a Great White also present in the area between the 26th - 28th. Three Common Cranes also put in a brief appearance at Cheesecake Farm on the 25th.
Raptors showed well with the first fledged Marsh Harriers appearing late in the month (joining an adult pair), with the first juvenile fledged Red Kite noted on the 12th and good numbers of Hobbies observed towards the end of the month. Two male and a female Quail were present at East Cottingwith Ings on the 11th and were thought to have a brood nearby. The highlight of the returning wader passage was a Temminck’s Stint at Bank Island on the 12th – perhaps the same returning individual that has appeared at this time of year over the last few years. Three Wood Sandpiper were at Bank Island early in the month with small numbers of Little Ringed Plovers, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwits, Greenshank and Green Sandpiper moving through, followed by a Ruff (21st) and Whimbrel (26th). An adult Mediterranean Gull was also present on the 27th.
notables included a juvenile Cuckoo at Wheldrake Ings on the 14th,
with a large movement of Swifts and up to 1000 roosting Swallows observed.
A Wheatear (2nd) and Redstart (15th and 21st)
showed some signs of passage. Four reeling Grasshopper Warblers remained
at Melbourne and Thornton Ings, whilst four juvenile Cetti’s Warblers
were caught and ringed at Wheldrake (6th and 13th).
Many thanks as always to everyone who contributed records and counts throughout the month, in particular to members of York Birding and regular patch birder Duncan Bye - thanks also to Duncan for the use of his photographs below.
– A drake and a pair were still present on the pool early in the month with a
single drake caught and ringed there on the 6th.
Breeding birds were scattered throughout the site early in the month with 12
arriving at Wheldrake Ings on the 18th
- perhaps the first returning birds of the autumn. Numbers had increased to 47
across Bank Island and Wheldrake by the 23rd.
– A single female with eight ducklings remained at Bank Island on the 1st and 2nd. A female and eclipse drake were observed there
on the 12th
with six flying juveniles on the 13th.
Two juveniles were caught and ringed overnight on the 13th/14th
with three there the next morning on the 14th.
Regular sightings continued with three at Wheldrake Ings on the 18th and two on the 20th. A colour-ringed juvenile
(from Bank Island) was seen on the pool at Wheldrake on the 22nd, with a single remaining
at Bank Island on the 29th
Gadwall – Six broods were present
on the pool at Wheldrake Ings on the 2nd with several unfledged
young remaining at month end.
Shoveler – Five broods remained at Bank Island on the 2nd with several unfledged
broods present throughout the site at month end.
Egret – 15 were on the pool at Wheldrake on the 1st and 2nd with 21 there on the 3rd. 13 individuals were on the pool at dawn on the 5th, 12 of which were juveniles.
11 were still present on the pool on the 22nd
with several new broods continuing to fledge throughout the month.
Great White Egret
– Single present at Wheldrake Ings and Bank Island between the 26th - 28th.
– 12 were present at Wheldrake Ings on the 2nd.
– A party of three were in fields by Cheesecake Farm on the 25th.
Great Crested Grebe
– A single was picked up having crash landed on a road near Barmby on the Marsh
– fortunately unhurt just a bit dazed, it was checked over and later returned to
the more suitable surrounding of the River Derwent on the 3rd.
Both an adult male and female remained early in the month until at least the 23rd,
with the first fledged juvenile appearing on the 27th followed
by two on the 30th.
Kite – Three
were seen at Wheldrake on the 2nd. The first fledged juvenile was observed following an adult at Bank Island on the 12th with two individuals seen again there later in the month.
Hobby – A second year bird was
present at Bank Island on the 1st and 2nd,
with three at North Duffield Carrs on the 3rd. Up to three were
seen most evenings early in the month at Wheldrake Ings with four at Storwood
on the 5th. Birds became increasingly widespread and noticeable after the
breeding season, with singles at Thornton, Melbourne, North Duffield, Stamford
Bridge and Dunnington towards month end.
Quail – Two males and a female
were at East Cottingwith Ings on the 11th – with the female
acting as if she had chicks nearby.
– Two adults were at Bank Island on the 1st with one
remaining on the 2nd which was followed by a fledged juvenile
there on the 3rd. A family party of four were at Bank Island
on the 6th. On the 11th a single was
present on the closed A163 by Bubwith Bridge with another at Sutton Farm on the
Oystercatcher – 12 were at Bank Island
on the 12th with nine remaining at Wheldrake on the 28th.
Stint – Single
at Bank Island on the 12th (DW).
Lapwing – A brood of three-week-old
chicks were ringed at Bank Island on the 6th with three other
unfledged broods also present on the reserve on this date. Another brood of four
appeared there on 10th. Up to 250 post breeding birds roosted
at Bank Island with smaller numbers feeding on the small number of cut meadows
during the month.
Two were at Bank Island on the 9th with eight on the 10th.
A total of 58 were present throughout the site over the course of the day on
the 11th with eight remaining on the 12th. Two
were present on the 18th and 19th with a
single at Wheldrake on the 21st.
Curlew – 12 flew into roost at
Bank Island on the 12th with small numbers present throughout
the site following a productive breeding season.
Whimbrel – Single at Sutton Farm
on the 26th.
Dunlin – One was seen on the
scrape at Wheldrake on the 17th with three at Bank Island on the
21st. Single at Sutton Farm on flooded arable on the 27th
Ruff – Single on the pool at
Wheldrake on the 21st.
Redshank – Two pairs bred and raised
six young at Bank Island, with the last to fledge on the 12th.
These individuals then moved to the pool at Wheldrake where they remained until
Greenshank – Single at Bank Island
on the 12th/13th with one there on the 28th
and presumably the same individual at the Low Grounds on the 29th/30th.
– One at Bank Island on the 13th and 17th
with four arriving on the pool at Wheldrake on the 22nd (two individuals
also present to the south of the reserve on this date). Two to four were then
present daily to month end.
– Three were at Bank Island on the 12th with three between
there and Wheldrake Ings on the 13th. Single remained at Bank Island
between the 14th-18th.
– One was picked up on nocturnal passage over Elvington in the early hours of
Gull – A flock
of 191 flew into Bank Island on the 1st with 34 there on the 12th.
Gull – The
first juvenile of the season was at Bank Island on the 7th.
Gull – A moulting
adult was seen at Sutton Fam on the 27th.
Tern – Three
adults and three fledged young remained on the pool at Wheldrake from the 1st
with three adults over Bank Island on the 13th. One remained
at Wheldrake on the 14th with occasional sightings thereafter until
Cuckoo – A single juvenile was observed
being fed by Reed Warblers at Wheldrake on the 14th.
Swift – 300 flew south over
Bank Island on the 4th, with 600 south over North Duffield
Carrs and 200 over Bank Island on the 5th. 200 were seen over
Wheldrake Ings on the 6th with 150 south over the reserve on
Swallow – Up to 1000 roosted in
the reedbed at Wheldrake on the 13th with 300+ on the 17th.
Up to 50 roosted in the reedbed at Wheldrake on the 13th with
60+ there on the 17th.
Single at Sutton Farm on the 27th.
Wheatear – A single was present at
Wheldrake Ings on the 2nd.
Redstart – A female was present briefly
in the Bank Island car park on the 15th with another female
at Seavy Carr on the 18th and 21st.
A single remained at Wheldrake from the 1st with two reeling
there on the 5th and 6th. Singles were at
Bank Island from the 4th and at Bubwith Ings on the 11th.
Three reeling individuals remained at Melbourne throughout the month with a fourth
bird reeling there on the 18th.
– A single pair raised two young at Melbourne with two young fledging early in
the month, with a second pair known to have bred elsewhere in the area.
Cetti’s Warbler – Two newly fledged juveniles were caught and ringed at Wheldrake Ings on the 6th - once again proving successful breeding. Two other un-ringed juveniles were caught there on the 13th.