Thursday, 14 August 2014

Spurn Day 36

 It was a long, cold night sat outside, cowering from the wind behind the hut. When it finally ended I rushed back and got straight into nice warm bed. On the way back though I did spot a Swift, which have been a bit few and far between recently.
I slept very soundly and as a result woke up very late and did not make it out birding for some time. When I did, at around 4.00 I headed to Canal Scrape via Clubleys to see what was about. There was a storm oncoming I noticed, which meant I needed to be in the hide before it hit. On Clubleys I flushed 2 Snipe but that was all.
On canal it was pretty quiet as is usual. I picked up both Willow and Reed Warbler while there, in addition to the usual Coots and Mallards. There was a bit of movement from waders coming off the estuary, but they were too distant to really make out. One thing I did make out though was the undoubted highlight of my stay in the hide. I noticed a large bird flying over Canalside in a lazy sort of way, I raised my bins and saw that it was an Owl, so grabbed the camera to get some shots. Its larger size and reduced streaking made it pretty obvious that it was a Short-Eared Owl, almost certainly the same bird that I saw last weekend.
-Short Eared Owl
The storm took an age to approach, and it was soon half five and time to be headed to the seawatch hide. I headed off hoping that the storm would hold off just a little longer. Along my way I spotted a pair of Roe Deer along the coast.  They were very bold, as you would expect from the deer here, the male showing a very nice pair of antlers. I got a few photos but it was at this moment that the heavens decided to open, so I made a speedy getaway.
-Roe Deer
The Tern passage started very fast, with birds streaming through, but by seven it had stopped and by half seven there were no birds moving at all. There were a few other things around; a Great Skua out at sea was nice, as was a Fulmar that flew overhead, not something I had anticipated. There was also a pair of Arctic Skuas overhead, a pale phase and a dark phase, harassing a small group of Sandwich terns.
-Arctic Skua
Despite finishing Seawatching early I ended up setting off for my shift a little late, and it was very gloomy when I departed. Along the road I noticed a small dark shape scurry out from the undergrowth and sit in the middle of the road. By now the gloom was very dark and I was wondering if I had imagined it. It was only when I was nearly on top of it that it moved again, a Hedgehog, scurrying back into the undergrowth.
Well, it’s been a quiet day compared to yesterday. At least I was able to get into the hut tonight, that was very much appreciated!

Species List:
Canal Scrape: Common Snipe, Kestrel, Short-Eared Owl, Mallard, Coot, Reed Warbler, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Woodpigeon, Knot, Sandwich Tern, Lesser Black-Backed Gull,
Seawatching: Oystercatcher, Sandwich Tern, Herring Gull, Swallow, Ringed Plover, Black-Headed Gull, Arctic Tern, Mediterranean Gull, Gannet, Common Scoter, Dunlin, Great Skua, Knot, Turnstone, Little Egret, Fulmar, Arctic Skua, Common Tern,

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