Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Spurn Day 6

Again, Day 6 started at bang on midnight. But since it was completely dark I failed to register any birds until around 4.00 in the morning. There were only a few Dunlin still around, as well as the Little Tern, Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher that I have become so familiar with over the last few days. I was delighted to see that the Oyk family with 2 chicks were still doing fine, as they were feeding along the shoreline. When you can see a family like this, know they are the same birds you’re watching day after day you become very attached to them, and they have been one of the highlights of my time here so far.
As the time wore on to the end of my shift I started to notice a few other birds around. A few Whimbrel were moving down the coast, in occasional small groups, but it’s the first time I have seen them up at the ponds so that was nice. There was also a Greenshank behind the hide, but I saw it the same moment it saw me and so my views of it were fleeting. There were also 4 summer plumaged Little Gull that went north over the hut in the morning too, always lovely birds to see.
On the way back to the warren, a worn and weary me spotted a lovely buck Roe Deer feeding on a hawthorn tree by the roadside. It was incredibly approachable, before it ambled off into the fields as I tried to pass.
I awoke again at 12.00, but found myself locked into the warren so did not get out until around 13.00. I went up behind the warren to join Paul and Steve but it had been a quiet morning apparently, and my stay there of around half an hour yielded very little, the highlight being a male Linnet that was singing from a gatepost.
Since it was so dead Paul offered to take me shopping early, but before he went to check his nets and found 3 young Swallows in them, so I got to watch him ring them before we set off. They were mixed ages, some clearly very young, but one seemed much older.
On the way into Withernsea we had some pretty nice birds. By the side of the road was a female Sparrowhawk that flew into a tree as we passed by. A fleeting but nice view of the bird. Next up was Little Owl. Paul mentioned a nest in a farm complex, but we failed to spot the bird as we drove past. No wonder, as round the corner the bird was easy to see sleeping in a tree.
Once we arrived back it was clear to see that it was still pretty dead in terms of birds, probably due to the lack of wind. As a consequence I once more headed to Clubleys ponds behind the warren to see if there were any RV Darters around. There were not, but remained good numbers of Emperors, of which I saw a 3 way fight, and Black Tailed Skimmers. 
-Black-Tailed Skimmer
Since I had all afternoon I decided to do the Triangle walk, which was basically the same walk I had done over the past few days. I headed off up Canalbank first to see what was about but there was not much. There was a Reed Warbler calling from the canal scrape, and more Whimbrel on the estuary, thought the tide was out and they were not close.
I carried on without much further happening besides flyovers and brief views of commoner birds. Along the road I got a nice treat though as I spotted a Roe Deer buck, probably the same as the morning, feeding very placidly side by side with a Brown Hare in one of the fields. I got some great views of it as it wandered around in the open seemingly completely uncaring that it was so obvious. The hare on the other had was quick to bolt, and was not particularly showy even when it was there, so I managed no photos of that.
-Roe Deer
So the afternoon wore on and evening came, and the joys of the nightshift came at me again. This side of the night was very successful, with nothing happening and plenty of birds to see while it was still light. The highlight of this was a Common Sandpiper feeding along the edge of the sea. Apparently, or so I understand, they are not overly common around here, but we shall see tomorrow when I submit it. Other birds were an excess of around 2000 Dunlin along the beach and pool edge, and incredible sight. Red Knot and Grey Plover were joining them.
But it was not just the birds, as there was a young female Grey Seal hauled out on the beach. It let me walk past within a few feet without batting an eyelid. It was bizarre only seeing one seal, and yet it still being so uncaring about my being there. Sadly I left my big camera at home to save luggage, and as such my photos are not exceptional, but still show just how close I got while walking past it. The photos will follow as my laptop does not want to read my compact cameras SD card!
  The rest of the evening passed without incident, and little else to report except for a couple of Little Egrets hunting the pool. And with that I will sign out for today with the species list.

Species List:
Beacon Pools: Dunlin, Little Tern, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Mute Swan, Whimbrel, Greenshank, Little Gull, Shelduck, Common Gull, Black-Headed Gull, Swift, Grey Plover, Woodpigeon, Greenfinch, Roe Deer,  
Warren Viewpoint: Common Gull, Swallow, Linnet, Meadow Pipit, Grey Seal,
Driving: Sparrowhawk, Little Owl, House Sparrow, House Martin, Swallow, Woodpigeon, Goldfinch, Pied Wagtail, Rook,
Clubleys Scrape: Sandwich Tern, Meadow Pipit, Swallow, Magpie, Emperor Dragonfly, Black-Tailed Skimmer, Common Emerald Damselfly, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown,
Triangle: Whimbrel, Woodpigeon, Curlew, Mute Swan, Swallow, Mallard, Reed Warbler, Coot, Common Gull, Magpie, Pied Wagtail, Carrion Crow, Blackbird, Starling, Whitethroat, House Martin, Linnet, House Sparrow, Blue Tit, Sandwich Tern, Black-Headed Gull,
Beacon Pools: Black-Tailed Godwit, Turnstone, Common Sandpiper, Sandwich Tern, Avocet, Common Gull, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Little Tern, Dunlin, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Knot, Grey Plover, Little Egret, Grey Seal, 

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