Sunday, 31 August 2014

Spurn Day 53 - LIFER ALERT

Time was running out on my time at spurn, so I decided to finally go for a walk down the point. I had to wait until the tide had receded; as a result I spent some time birding round the warren to see if I could see anything.
First of all I watched from up at numpties where there continued to be plenty of tree sparrows flying overhead, around 500 today. There was also a Spotted Flycatcher hunting around the warren which gave decent views through the bins.
I then headed to Canal Scrape but it was as quiet as Canal Scrape usually is. There was a single Pied Flycatcher hunting along the back but the highlight was when a flock of 7 Little Egrets flew across the pond, sadly not landing but it was a nice sight to see.
When the tide had gone down enough I headed out and down the point. The birds were sparse for the most part of the walk down, the exception being at Chalk Bank hide where there were good numbers of birds still roosted up. The roost included 129 Oystercatcher, 39 Curlew and 28 Greater Black-Backed Gulls.
But I had not really gone down for the birds, only for the nice walk and to see what it was really like. With the exception of the breach itself there did not seem to be an excess of damage. The vegetation was more substantial than I imagined, with high bushes over low scrub. I took plenty of photos from the trip though…
-Spurn Point
As for birds on the point? Well there were a few nearer the end but there was so much shrubbery that there could have been anything there. The highlights where 2 Whinchat which sat nicely and a stunning Yellow Wagtail, the most yellow I have seen one during my time here.
-Yellow Wagtail

I failed to find any megas, but I had a nice time and it was a pleasant walk. On my return I spent most of the afternoon chilling and following the football. In the evening though I headed up to the seawatch to enjoy the tern movement.
I had only been up there around 20mins when I got todays lifer. Steve suddenly announce, quick get on this. He then followed up saying he thought it was a great crested grebe, but as more opinions came in as the bird was picked up it was announced that it was a Red-Necked Grebe. As soon as this came about I doubled my efforts to get onto the bird and managed it just as it came up to straight out. It was certainly a grebe, and the red neck could almost be seen, though it was a little too far out unfortunately. It continued on and had soon passed us.
Another lifer, but this was the final grebe I needed to get all the grebes on the British List. As far as I can work out it is the first full set of British birds that I have, grebes, so that in itself is pretty special. I was thrilled to bits with that, and a great end to the day.
There were other birds during the evening, including 2 Kittywake and a Little Gull, adding variety to the usual Common and Black-Headed Gull. 2 Red-Throated Divers went north too, on about the same line as the grebe, so offering a nice comparison through the evening.

Species List:
Vis-Migging: Tree Sparrow, Spotted Flycatcher, Whitethroat, Swallow, Woodpigeon, Magpie,
Canal Scrape: Redshank, Snipe, Dunlin, Coot, Pied Flycatcher, Mallard, Reed Bunting, Little Egret, Willow Warbler, Yellow Wagtail, Sand Martin, Sandwich Tern,
Spurn Point: Oystercatcher, Cormorant, Curlew, Greater Black-Backed Gull, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Black-Headed Gull, Robin, Whinchat, Dunnock, Yellow Wagtail,

Seawatching: Red-Necked Grebe, Little Gull, Kittywake, Guillemot, Red-Throated Diver, Swallow, Herring Gull, Oystercatcher, Arctic Skua, Kestrel,

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