Friday, 1 August 2014

Spurn Day 23

The game has changed. At 2.00 this morning I decided to investigate a lone oystercatcher calling. I knew there would be nothing of it, but figured it probably best checking. But there, at the far end of the pond was something shining in the torchlight. Initially I thought it must just be a can or something, but then it began to move. I therefore, moved closer to it in order to get a better view. Whatever it was it decided to clear off without a trace, no sign of it round the corner. Of course it was the long elusive fox, but why had only one Oyk been calling, and why, when I reached the site, was there still a Ringed Plover (Capable of flight) chilling on the shoreline? And where had the fox gone, it can’t have run that fast?
At 3.00 the same thing happened, only this time I remembered to check for tracks. After some searching I found one fresh paw print from a fox. But again, there were few birds calling and no obvious sign of distress from anything…
Besides that the shift passed without incident, though obviously the fox is a pretty big incident. There were not many birds around in the morning, probably because I had scared them all off. The walk back also produced nothing of any real note.
At 11 my slumber was broken by the reports that a clouded yellow was on beacon lane. Oh, how nearly I made it out of bed, but not quite and the next thing I know it was 2.00 in the afternoon. For the day I decided to head along the coast, to beacon lane, round to Kilnsea wetlands and then back down Canalside. It was dead, very dead indeed. Along Beacon Lane I got a few butterflies but nothing much. I recorded Speckled Wood, which is my first time here, and a few Wall Brown and a Painted Lady in full colour. Nothing out of the ordinary though.
-Speckled Wood
-Wall Brown
Along the walk to Kilnsea I had a bit more luck, with Avocet on one of the small ponds, also a Ruddy Darter along the path, but it was still very quiet. Not as quiet as actually on the wetlands. Below I have included a photo with all the birds on the wetlands in…
-Juv Lesser Black-Backed Gull
As if it needs stating, not much time was spent in there. I continued round to Canalside where there was little again. On the estuary I picked up Whimbrel, Black-Headed Gull and Dunlin, the latter being in small numbers as the tide was well, well out.
I returned to the warren having not really got much at all. Shopping and dinner followed but after that I headed up to the Seawatch hide to see what was about. It was a decent showing, but very on and off. There was decent passage of Sandwich and Common Terns, as well as a few far out Arctic Skuas, 2 of which were mobbing a Sandwich Tern. There was also Gannet movement out to sea, so a little more to get excited about. A weather front had moved in and so the Seawatching quickly dried up, the air becoming very humid with the odd rain shower. 
As a consequence the ponds were very quiet, and there was little on the way there. The cloud cover also made it feel very dark, meaning none of the waders could be identified, though there were obviously some dunlin and the Oyks out there.

The Daily Oystercatcher
This morning our Oyks spent most of their time calling at me as I checked relentlessly for the fox. It caused the young to frequently fly though, which they are getting good at now, and is pleasing to see. At one point the adult took them down onto the beach in order to try and get them away from me, but I came back round the beach in order to prevent disturbance to other birds, so that did not work too well.
In the evening it was too murky to really get them, but they could be seen snoozing on their little Crab Pot island. Snoozing that is until I disturbed them with my checking. Its going to be a long night for them I feel.

Species List:
Beacon Ponds: Little Egret, Mute Swan, Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Black-Headed Gull, Sanderling, Fox, Migrant Hawker
Walk: Avocet, Mute Swan, Mallard, Linnet, Herring Gull, Pied Wagtail, Black-Headed Gull, Sandwich Tern, Blackbird, House Sparrow, House Martin, Dunlin, Whimbrel, Snipe, Great Tit, Goldfinch, Wall Brown, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Common Blue, Large White, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Ruddy Darter, Migrant Hawker, Emperor Dragonfly
Seawatching: Gannet, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Arctic Skua, Common Gull, Linnet, Swallow, Grey Seal,

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