Friday, 18 July 2014

Spurn Day 9

Once more the days story begins at the ungodly hour of 00.00. But also keeping with the trend there was nothing to report until around 4.30; the fox not making an appearance again. The sunrise was simply stunning again, though it may be the last as the weather is due to change for the worse. But I can now include photos from the last few sunrises as I managed to read my SD card, so here are a few pics of what the end of my shift looks like…
There were hardly any birds on the pools either, most probably having been flushed by my imaginary fox checking. The Little Terns were still around as were a few Oystercatchers and Dunlin but besides them there was very little. There was also nothing to report from the walk back either, which is just as well, as I was feeling very rough.
I awoke at around four, cloudy and very windy was the day’s outlook at this point, so much for hottest day of the year. I decided to go up for the gropper again but it was too windy and they were not singing. It was fairly quiet all round, though there were good numbers of Dunlin on the Humber and a family of Roe Deer: Stag, Doe and Fawn all together in one of the roadside fields.
As you have probably guessed by now, today was not the most hectic day’s birding ever. As a result I started trying to photograph commoner things for the blog, and the lovely families of Swallows that are around, that I really should have photographed earlier, fitted the bill quite nicely. I did not get many great shots, but they were very cute and were being well attended by the adults.
I was back by around half 3 in the afternoon, ready to spend the remainder of the day lounging around the warren. But by half 4 I had done enough lounging and so headed up to the Seawatching hide for a bit, see if there was anything around. I had a decent half an hour spell, recording quite a few Gannets, Kittywake and 5 Manx Shearwaters. The weather turning has probably been the cause for the improvement in the Seawatching.
Next on the agenda was of course my shift. Even walking to that was quiet, I recorded no dunlin on the beach at all, and their numbers were very sparse around the pool. There were improved numbers of Sandwich Tern in though and I spent a good while watching these birds until the light failed. Once more the fox has failed to make and appearance. I am beginning to doubt the existence of said fox…

The Daily Oystercatcher
Though it had been a quiet day on the most part there was high drama here. When checking the birds at first light I noticed that only one of the Oystercatcher chicks was there, and this was the case for the whole morning. As I have become so attached to them I did a rigorous search for the other chick but found no evidence. I began to fear the worst. I mentioned it to Kieran when he took over but seemed confident that it would be ok.
So I headed to my evening shift a little concerned for my Oyks, and desperately hopeful that they had not fallen fowl between the shifts, or worse my 3.00 am nap. My worst fears were realised when I turned up to still find only one chick being attended to by a parent.
However, it was not the case, as round the corner was another oystercatcher chick being attended to by another adult. This chick though seemed older and as a result I was initially unsure if it was my chick. Fortunately the 2 halves of the family joined up and one of the adults headed off, so it’s a case of a false alarm, for which I am very grateful.
The chicks then spent the rest of the light causing havoc with the Sandwich terns, running through the roost leaving startled birds in their wake, while the remaining adult decided to take on the terns rather than just frustrating them.

Species List:
Beacon Pools: Dunlin, Meadow Pipit, Oystercatcher, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Little Tern, Brown Hare,
Sammies Point: Sandwich Tern, Dunlin, Little Egret, Linnet, Black-Headed Gull, Woodpigeon, Swallow, House Sparrow, Oystercatcher, Whimbrel, Redshank, Mallard, Whitethroat, Curlew, Mute Swan, Magpie, Feral Pigeon, Skylark, Pied Wagtail, House Martin, Carrion Crow, Sedge Warbler, Roe Deer
Seawatching: Gannet, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Carrion Crow, Manx Shearwater, Kittywake,
Beacon Pools: Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Swallow, Arctic Tern, Little Tern, Gannet, Oystercatcher, Mute Swan, Cormorant

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