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11 members made the trip to Tophill Low reservoirs near Driffield on a beautiful sunny day. Tophill Low NR is an active Yorkshire Water Treatment Works for the city of Hull but has also been developed as a nature reserve featuring 12 hides spread across a 300 acre site that flanks the River Hull. The two reservoirs dominate the reserve and have SSSI status for their massive wildfowl numbers. Around the perimeter a network of marshes, ponds, woodlands and grasslands result in an annual 160+ bird species plus a good mix of other fauna and flora.
We spent the morning walking round the D-reservoir, spending time in several of the hides. There were plenty of ducks on the water, and some grebes. but not as many waders as wed hoped. We also saw a very pale raptor, probably a buzzard, on the far side. There were several egrets as well as the somewhat larger grey herons.
As this was primarily a birding trip I did not make a plant list, but did notice a few colourful plants still in flower, including this Prickly oxtongue and Welted thistle (complete with what I think is a carder bee).
Lunch was completed by Ians excellent Bakewell tart. Thus fortified, we continued round the reserve to the O-reservoir and surrounding wetland areas. The warm sunshine had brought out a huge number of dragonflies, mostly Migrant Hawkers but also Common and Ruddy Darters and a very colourful Southern Hawker among the reeds and a possible Brown Hawker on the far side of the reservoir! There were also a few late butterflies out and about including Speckled woods, but unfortunately no Clouded yellows today.
There was a very good crop of haws along the boundary hedges, and near one of the hides I spotted these spindle fruits.
Returning to the car park we thanked Keith for a most enjoyable trip.
Large White, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Peacock.
|© Ryedale Natural History Society 2015, Photos © Gill Smith and Pauline Popely (dragonfly) 2015|