Friday, 29 August 2014

Spurn Day 51

I awoke nice and early again to go and enjoy the seawatching. Numbers of birds were low but the diversity was quite high with good numbers of waders including snipe as well as quite a few other bits and pieces the highlights being a reasonably close Red-Throated Diver and a couple of close Mediterranean gulls. There were also hundreds of Swallows moving, with around 7500 recorded during the morning. It was an impressive sight and I was only recording for a few minuets, but it was hard work.
-Mediterranean Gull
I was just leaving the hide when the message came through about a red-backed shrike at canal hedge. Of course that's where I headed straight to, but could not find the bird, and of course I had left my radio back at the warren. I then bumped into another birder who said that he thought he might have seen a greenish warbler, and asked if I would come and have a look. Torn between helping another birder and finding the shrike was difficult, but in the end I went to help him look. Despite the troops being rallied the greenish was never confirmed.  
As soon as the cavalry arrived I headed off to locate the shrike. I had received clear instructions as to its location, which I would have received had I my radio but hey ho. It was sat around the back of the hedge near big hedge. It showed incredibly well but was at a distance and difficult to get any good photos of. Either way I was thrilled to have seen it.
Jobs then took up the remainder of the day, shopping and some tern tasks, but when I had finished I returned to watch the shrike for a little longer. Of course word had spread and there were a few more people about, and of course they were not watching it from a distance as I was. The bird however remained put, never seeming disturbed and as such when nobody was watching it I decided to try and move a little closer.
I deployed a stealth mode, but if at any point the bird looked unsettled I would back off, not wanting to become an irresponsible hypocrite. Fortunately it was just as approachable as it had looked and I got some great shots, one of which even features on the spurn sightings page. The bird remained preening and hunting, giving unbelievable views and allowing me to get some incredible shots.
I did not want to outstay my welcome so left after I got the shots I wanted. The bird moved off to feed on another area of the fence, and I decided to not risk disturbing it but to leave it in peace. It was quite a stunner.
-Red-Backed Shrike
The evenings seawatch was good if not exceptional, with about 3000 terns moving down, sometimes close but often far as well, so it was less of a spectacle than it can be. Other birds were a bit thin on the ground though there were a few swifts moving, which are quite late in the year. It was an enjoyable evening though, and a great end to the day.

Species List:
Seawatching: Wigeon, Teal, Dunlin, Sanderling, Turnstone, Whimbrel, Oystercatcher, Sandwich Tern, Swallow, Mediterranean Gull,
Mooching About: Red-Backed Shrike, Pied Flycatcher, Willow Warbler, Yellow Wagtail, Woodpigeon,
Seawatching: Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Gannet, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Black-Headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull,

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