Sunday, 16 November 2014

Spontaneous Spurn trip Day 2

I was the only member of the NGB crowd to make it out of bed at anything like a birdwatching time. I went up to the seawatching first where Ian, Steve and Rich were so it was nice to be back with the Spurn locals. This highlight of the watch was a Little Auk that flew along the surf line. I was the first to see and for some reason thought it looked more like a puffin, though it was pretty obvious what it was going to be. It was nice to see one that was not in the hand.
We were steadily joined by the NGB's, Scott had arrived in the morning while Jonnie had arrived last night for the pub. Matt Bruce also made it out of bed for a little bit of the seawatching. When the seawatching dried up we decided to head up to the ponds to look for some reported snow buntings. Scott and Matt drove up while Jonnie and I opted to walk. However, once the others had left we were informed that the Black Brant had been around, and since Jonnie had not seen one we set off in that direction.
We found the flock no problem and were soon on the Black Brant, though it remained as distant as it had before. However, that changed when the entire flock was put up. All the birds went onto the ponds, with the exception of around 10 birds, which came and landed on the estuary in front of us. Incredibly, one of those 10 birds happened to be the Black Brant, and though our view was obscured by hedges and fences we still got a great view and I managed some much improved photos.
-Black Brant
We got at least half an hour watching the bird before these birds decided to leave and head off to the ponds. We then decided to do the same to see if we could track down the snow buntings ourselves. Our walk round the ponds was shorter than yesterdays but we got some decent birds. There were far fewer Little Grebes around than yesterday, and there were no snow buntings. The real highlight of the walk was when I almost trod on a lizard that was being very lethargic on the path. We picked it up no problem but I had no camera suitable so Jonnie took the photo. We then moved it off the path and onto the wall, where it crawled in.
-Common Lizard (Jonnie Fisk)
We bumped into the Matt and Scott on Beacon Lane and they had picked up the Black Brant in the flock once it had rejoined them in the field. I got a photo of it in the flock in order to compare it to the other geese in the photo.
-Black Brant (2nd Right)
We also picked up Greater-Spotted Woodpecker at the end of the walk. We were almost back at the warren when we picked up the other boys, who had been to the Crown for lunch. We spent the afternoon chilling at the wader watchpoint opposite the warren looking to spot something, though there was not much around.
We then went on a walk down a section of the point with Tim to try and push something off the beach but there was nothing really to be had. By the end of it though I could barely remain focused for being so tired. I got a lift back with Pete but feel asleep pretty much straight away and only really awoke when we got back to Sheffield. Overall though it was a great weekend, Little Auk being the highlight.

Species List:
Seawatch: Red-Throated Diver, Common Scoter, Little Auk, Cormorant, Gannet, Goldeneye, Kestrel, Little Gull, Redwing
Beacon Ponds: Brent Goose, Blackbird, Wigeon, Common Teal, Black-Headed Gull, Cormorant, Kestrel, Greater-Spotted Woodpecker, Common Lizard,

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