Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Spurn Day 56

It turned east overnight and as such expectations were high for good numbers of migrants turning up. I awoke early and headed up to the Seawatching hut to see what, if anything, was moving. There were odd bits and pieces; a Red-Throated Diver going south, a Kittiwake blogging along the shoreline and a Black-Tailed Godwit came in with a group of Redshank. Not overly poor but the numbers of birds were thin on the ground.

The really fun this morning was getting to watch some of the birds caught being ringed. There were some real beauties such as the Whinchat, and a young female Redstart which were shown off. I was given the great honour of being allowed to release the Whinchat. The Redstart was a young female, it was great to see the red tail up so close and to really appreciate it fully.
-Common Redstart
After the morning watching I decided to head out and bash the bushes along the canal hedge. I did not find much in there, but I did find a Pied Flycatcher, along with a number of Willow Warblers and a few Reed Buntings. The real highlight was when a Song Thrush flew past me into the hedge. It had been reported down by the warren and I knew it would be a spurn tick, so I was pretty pleased when it flew past me.
I headed along Canal Bank, along the top and then down the seaward side, only adding Lesser Whitethroat and Wheatear to my day list. But, halfway down the seaward walk, almost at the point where yesterdays barred warbler had been, the radio went off saying about another Barred Warbler at the top of canal bank. I was pretty knackered by this point but headed over that way, deeming the bird worthy of my suffering.
It was just as well. The bird flew off as I arrived, but it flew into an elderberry tree nearby where it showed very well on and off for about 10 mins before vanishing for good. It was certainly an improvement on the previous days sighting as this bird was sat well out in the open. I got outstanding views through the scope that allowed me to take in all the birds’ features. It’s true that they do amble through the bushes in a clumsy manner as the bird was easy enough to follow once it had been picked up by the foliage rustling.
I headed back to the warren, picked up my laundry and then headed back to Kew to get it done. While I was there I learned that there had been a flock of Long-Tailed Tits around, which are quite rare at spurn. However the attempt to catch them there failed. I spent the rest of the afternoon clearing up the remaining tern equipment until it was all finally away, the last act of my Little Tern Wardens job…
Once I had finished I wandered back to the warren where I found Tim and Adam releasing the Long-Tailed Tits mentioned above. They had made their way down the canal and had been caught at the warren, 5 out of 6. Two of them had already got rings on, but one of those birds happened to be the one that had not been caught. I was not in time to see them in the hand but got to see them scurry around the bushes after their release calling nosily. It’s a great Spurn tick to have, as they are not overly common here.
As evening drew on I headed up to the Seawatching to see if there were any terns moving. The answer was no to all effects. There were 190 I counted before I gave up. It may well be that the terns had apparently finished early this year, but we had certainly had the best with 2 counts over 10,000.

Species List:
Seawatching: Sandwich Tern, Carrion Crow, Common Teal, Common Scoter, Arctic Skua, Black-Headed Gull, Black-Headed Gull, Meadow Pipit, Swallow, Gannet, Willow Warbler, Red-Throated Diver, Kittiwake, Whinchat, Black-Tailed Godwit, Redshank, Redstart, Dunlin, Cormorant, Whimbrel,
Mooching About: Reed Bunting, Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Whitethroat, Kestrel, Song Thrush, Pied Flycatcher, Blue Tit, Snipe, Redshank, Starling, Dunnock, Lesser Whitethroat, Barred Warbler, Wheatear, Long-Tailed Tit, Great Tit,
Seawatching: Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Gannet, Black-Headed Gull, Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Turnstone, Sanderling, Sparrowhawk, Little Gull, Tufted Duck, 

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