Sunday, 7 September 2014

Spurn Day 60

It seems bizarre but today is my final day at Spurn. After getting back to my tent at 1.00 in the morning after spending the night at the pub, I was not looking forward to my 6.00 start, but I managed to power through. 
The ringing started much quicker than it had done the previous morning. We caught Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler and the usual Meadow Pipits. We also caught a few Garden Birds in the Kew garden including a Blue Tit and a Blackbird. There were other birds about in Churchfield too, including a Redstart, a few Pied Flycatcher and a Spotted Flycatcher.
At 8.00 after showing off a few birds we got a radio message that a lesser golden plover had been heard down at the warren. Tim and I rushed off down there getting a lift with Pete. When we arrived a crowd had already assembled. The bird had been heard calling with a flock of Golden Plover, but then 2 birds had broken off and landed on the Humber. It was understood that one of these birds was the bird in question, but once on the Humber it could not be found. One bird was thought to be the bird, but after much discussion it was decided that it was in fact a normal Golden Plover with a more spangly back. As a result the lesser golden was never found and we returned to churchfield to continue ringing.
It felt like late morning, though it was only half 9 when the real highlight of the day turned up. I was loitering round the ringing hut while Tim and Paul checked the nets, when the radio came on with Tim's voice saying a Sparrowhawk had been caught. I had looked through the Spurn Portfolio and seen a Sparrowhawk in the hand and had decided then that this was the one bird I wanted to see in the hand. As a result I was overjoyed that now, on the last day, one had been caught that I would be able to see. 
When the bird was shown off there was a substantial crowd but I was able to get a few photos of it in the hand, including one really good one. It was a young male, and was really quite placid during its moment of fame. It squawked a little, but did not flap or bit, just sat there looking around. It really was outstanding to look at, one of the undoubted highlights of my time at Spurn.
Birds continued to be caught, but not many and by 12.00 we decided to call it quits on the ringing. I then went down to warren to find Pete and ask for a lift to Hull. On the way I spotted a few Whinchat sat on the fences. These will undoubtedly be the last I see this year, so it was a nice farewell.
Once all that was finished I headed up to westmere farm to hear a talk about satellite tagged monties, which was absolutely fascinating. This was followed by a bird skinning demonstration and a talk about NGB. It was a productive and interesting to spend the afternoon. 
For my final Spurn birding I went to the pub car park to see if the siberian lesser whitethroat that had been reported was still around. It was not despite a crowd looking. There was a normal Lesser Whitethroat, Pied Flycatchers and a few other birds around, so it was a nice way to finish off.
And then I left, my last 2 months at Spurn ended and I got a lift to Sheffield and then caught the train home. It felt weird seeing things like Pylons on the way home, something I have not seen for so long, just like woods, and large buildings...

Species List:
Churchfield: Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Sparrowhawk, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Little Egret, Blackbird, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Herring Gull,

1 comment:

  1. It was great to see you over the weekend Dan and well done on being part of a fantastic, memorable weekend, I will certainly be back next year! Well done also on a couple of months true dedication to the Little Terns, its probably no coincidence that they had their best year on record. Please keep this blog going mate, I know lots of Calderdale birders enjoy keeping up with your birding adventures and seeing you go from strength to strength. And yes, you're right, Saturday was a cracking night :)