Saturday, 11 October 2014

Spurn NGB Weekend Day 2

As I was the only NGB camping at Westmere farm it meant I would have more of a trek to get down to numpties to start the day with others. On the way down I got the most ridiculous Spurn Tick in the form of Lapwing, as they had not been moving while I was there.
There were already a flock of about 30 Whooper Swans on the Humber for when I arrived at numpties and joined the small gathering of NGB's around the watchpoint. The passage was much reduced from yesterday, though we still had a few Rock Pipits and Grey Wagtails, as well as an Eider that went south.
Tim was up at numpties and his radio was to hand, so we could follow all of what was progressing across the reserve. A lot of the NGB guys were busy ringing for most of the morning, and one of the first things they caught was a lovely male Stonechat which was a smashing bird to see in the hand.
After an other half an hour or so up at Numpties news came through that Martin had found a Yellow-Browed Warbler down at the warren. We arrived but it had already dived into the bushes. It was Re-found by Sarah about 5mins later though, having moved round the warren from the ringing lab. It was difficult to assemble a crowd, but we were near to the site where it was and so I was finally able to get my own YB Warbler record shots. It was difficult to track and it was not long until it was lost again.
-Yellow-Browed Warbler
This time though it had moved along the bank to the bushes where I had seen one on my previous trip. It was difficult to track here too but on the whole we were reasonably successful and some of the guys managed to get a few shots of it.
However, news had come through of a Firecrest up by Driftwood Caravan Site, and Scott offered to take me up since it was a lifer, and a badly needed one. We raced up but the bird had been lost and was not showing. As a result after about 10 mins Scott headed off to check out Sammies. I decided to stay to see if the Firecrest would return. After a while a couple of birders further up the path called that they had it. I arrived in time to see the bird right out in the open on a hawthorn tree across the road. It spent all the time out in the open, the only downside being that the afore mentioned time was not very long, only around 30 seconds, and as such I did not have time to get any pictures, which was disappointing given how incredible the views were. But fortunately the bird was all I had hoped, looking stunning. It moved across the road but we lost it there, and despite sticking around I did not find it again, though it was seen by a couple of other guys later in the day in the same area, suggesting it was doing some kind of circuit.
I wandered back down to the warren to catch up on the ringing and the passage. Not much had happened since I had left which is always comforting. However, soon after I returned things became more exciting again. We were all stood at numpties and a few of us commented that we thought we had heard a Jay alarm calling. However, not much happened in the immediate aftermath and so we though no more of it. About a minuet later Tim came on the radio with news that a Jay had been caught and was about to be ringed.
We headed down to watch the bird be processed and then displayed. I had a lot of fight in it, savaging Tims finger whenever it got the chance,but still more than happy to sit still for a photo providing the other hand was not too close. Its a different perspective to have on a bird that I would consider myself familiar with, the magic of Spurn!
It was not the only bird caught while I was down there. All morning the YBW had been around the nets, and had even fallen out of one I hear. However, by late morning it had finally been caught. It was brought out to a pretty decent sized crowd, mainly consisting on NGB's. It sat very well, though I did not manage to get any really good photos.
-Yellow Browed Warbler
The time with the YBW was cut short when news of a richards pipit coming south was broadcast over the radio. As such we all raced up to numpties in the hope of catching a glimpse of it as it went over. That never happened, the bird had dropped down into the churchfield but we remained at numpties anyway in the hope that something else may come down.
We had Jack Snipe, Merlin and a Skein of 70 Pink Footed Geese come down during the early part of the afternoon. By 2.00 though it had started to rain and as such we took to sitting in the warren waiting for it to pass. While we waited another smart bird was caught, though this time it was more of a rescue from gulls as an apparently injured Guillemot had been found down the point.
The guys that found it brought it up and we were able to have a good look at it. Paul came down to see if the bird was ringable but decided there was not enough fat on it and that it was probably a gonner. Tim took it down to the sea and placed it back, where it probably stood its best chance of getting back to any form of health.
We then did a walk through the saltmarsh to try and see what we could flush. The only thing we managed though was a Roe Deer, which I had called a minuet or so before. At the top of the canal bank I said I would head back since I was already half way to my tent. This was a big mistake as the others then found a grass snake and flushed a woodcock.
That was it for the day really, the weather did not really let up so the birding was limited. I tried again for the firecrest but it was not showing.

Species List:
Vis-Migging: Lapwing, Mallard, Wren, Reed Bunting, Whooper Swan, Eider, Tree Sparrow, Grey Wagtail, Rock Pipit, Skylark, Stonechat, Goldcrest,
Warren: Goldcrest, Great Tit, Wren, Song Thrush, Merlin, Teal, Snipe, Reed Bunting, Meadow Pipit, Jack Snipe, Pink-Foot Goose, Guillemot,

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