Thursday, 31 July 2014

Spurn Day 22

Another quiet night on the ponds came and went, though we did have an improvement today as I did actually hear the fox barking over on the far side of Long Bank. Again though, it gave me no bother on the ponds. We had a new bird for the raft this morning though, just as Keiron arrived a Grey Heron dropped in on the ponds, attempted to land. So close, I remarked, to a new bird on the raft. No sooner had the words left my mouth than did the Heron attempt to land again and this time succeed. Yes, the funding for the bird raft is paying off.
There was also a Ponds tick for me in the form of a Migrant Hawker that was hunting around the hut. I did not have my main camera on me, but I managed a few shots with my compact, but it required the flash due to unfortunately low light, such as is regularly the case at 4.30 in the morning.
-Migrant Hawker
On the way back I thought I had round myself something a little special when I flushed a very pale lark from the path in front of me. It kept very low down and I failed to find it settled. I only saw the bird 3 times, each time it flying but it was pretty featureless with the exception of it being so pale. The limited views I was getting were frustrating to say the least, and not just because it was half 5 in the morning and I wanted to go to bed. I would have given up when it failed to show again, but instead I went back to grab some more kit and to sit it out, so I could find it and have peace of mind. Upon my return to the birds location I took some time but did re-find it. It was, as I had always though, just a very pale Skylark. But in my stakeout of this bird I had got to see a couple of Yellow Wagtails and a good build-up of Hirundines (Swallow and Sand Martin)on the fences in prep for the days passage. So it was not a total loss.
I woke up at 2.30 in the afternoon, feeling much recovered from the virus, though it was still giving me bother, and actually feeling ready to roll. I decided to do a little Seawatching, but that never got off the ground as it was completely dead due to a lack of wind. I then decided to go for a walk up Canalside to see if there were any birds in the bushes.
This paid great dividends, as I managed a decent haul of species and a few Spurn patch ticks. There are a number of bushes at the bottom of the Canalside and here is a good place for small birds. You can also see the waders on the Humber, so I set up here. There was decent stuff, with Yellow Wagtail and a few Swifts going over. The first patch tick came when I heard a sharp call overhead and looked up to see 3 Snipe going over. I lost them but they came back round not long after, and though they kept well down, prior to their landing I got some decent views and record shots.
The tide was well out so that was the sum total for the birds actually on the estuary. As for in the bushes it was a different story. There were very good numbers of Whitethroat all around, including birds of all ages. There was also a Accro warbler keeping low down, certainly a Reed, but at Spurn you can’t be sure. Fortunately it called and I was able to properly pin it down to Reed. I also got fleeting views of Sedge Warbler, a young Robin, patch tick, and Willow Warbler, which is also a patch tick. So that was time well spent I would have said.
-Reed Warbler
After dinner I opted to just chill and prepare for the shift. It was quite dark when I arrived, too dark to really make anything out from the mass of waders on the poolside, with the exception of the Oystercatchers. On the walk up the beach though there were good numbers of Dunlin again and tonight there were even a few Grey Plover, which are a novelty for the beach. The fox, once again failed to make an appearance.

The Daily Oystercatcher
My time with the Oyks was very low again. I noticed this morning that both chicks stood alone, independent of each other and of their parents, which is a good sign given that they are now quite old. However in the evening both chicks with one parent were all sleeping together on the crab pot island just off the coast.

Species List:
Beacon Ponds: Grey Heron, Cormorant, Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Grey Plover, Little Tern, Black-Headed Gull, Grey Seal, Migrant Hawker,
Seawatching: Sandwich Tern, Gannet, Oystercatcher,
Canalside: Whitethroat, Swift, Swallow, Robin, Redshank, Linnet, Snipe, Sandwich Tern, Reed Warbler, Dunlin, Whimbrel, Yellow Wagtail, Woodpigeon, Herring Gull,

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