Nineteen MNA members joined the Coach trip across the Pennines to Blacktoft Sands RSPB Reserve on the Humber Estuary nr Goole in East Yorkshire. The reserve has a large tidal reedbed and saline lagoons and this provided good views of some migratory waders including Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper and Snipe. Little Grebes were still feeding young and there were Gadwall, Mallard, Teal and Moorhen mooching around. The Marsh Harriers put on a good show and some members also viewed Peregrine and Hobby. One member was lucky enough to see a Bittern fly deep into the reeds on one of the small islands. Those infamous reedbed skulkers Water Rail and Bearded Tit were also viewed by a few members.
It was great to see the four Konik ponies – they are part of a very ambitious and serious trial to see how these ponies can be used to manage the grassland, fenland, scrub and pools to make them better for birds and other wildlife.
Most of the flowers now past their best but still flowering were Teasel Dipsacus fullonum, Marsh Thistle Cirsium palustre, Perennial Sow Thistle Sonchus arvensis, Greater Burdock Arctium lappa, Water Mint Mentha aquatica and Wild Angelica Angelica sylvestris.
A few Butterflies battling with the wind Peacock Inachis io, Small White Pieris rapae and a few Silver Y Moths Autographa gamma hunkering down. A number of Migrant Hawkers Aeshna mixta were zooming past the hide windows and I managed to find one resting that posed for a pic.
Plenty of Spiders around with Garden Spider Araneus diadematus, Autumn Spider Metellina segmentata a few different species of Wolf Spider and a female Harvestman Mitopus morio.
Tapered Drone Fly
The umbellifers attracted a variety of insects including Turnip Sawfly Athalia rosae, Flesh Fly Sarcophaga sp. Muscid Fly Graphomya maculata, Tachinid Fly Eriothrix rufomaculata, Green Bottle Lucilia sp. Ichneumon Wasp Gasteruption jaculator, Ichneumon Wasp Pimpla rufipes, Common Wasp Vespula vulgaris, German Wasp Vespula germanica and Sand Wasp Ectemnius continuus. Other insects included a Green Shield Bug nymph Palomena prasina, a Marsh Damsel Bug Nabis limbatus, a few Chironomid Midges and the Crane Fly Tipula oleracea.
Galls included Blister Galls on Crack Willow Leaves Salix fragilis caused by the Sawfly Pontania proxima. A huge Common Frog Rana temporaria with fantastic markings sitting on the path was a nice find to end our day.