Having some time off is lovely. I spent the last week patching Orgreave and off twitching, but for the weekend I decided to make my first visit of the year to Spurn, which has been long overdue. I arrived back from the greater-legs at 2.00 in the morning so allowed myself a lie in to recover fully before setting off for Spurn at around lunchtime. Pete had set off on the Wednesday before I had contacted him and as such I was travelling by public transport again.
I arrived in Patrington after 4.00 before Paul picked me up and took me the rest of the way. On the way I received the outstanding news that the Red-Necked Phalarope, which had not been seen since Tuesday, had reappeared on Holderness field. So when I arrived that was where I first went.
Paul had described the exact pool to me but I still could not pick it up. I went via Beacon Lane but neither of the first pools I came to had the bird on them. However, on the final pool I connected with it. The RNP was swimming around the pool, which was around 50 meters away. I grabbed a few record digiscoped shots but the bird was distant.
It was a stunning looking bird. The only other phalarope I have ever seen was a grey, but my views of that were distant and brief, so to see one like this, swimming around the pond not too far away was a real treat. Add to the fact that this was a summer plumaged bird and you really have got it all. I was later told that it only had one leg, so I guess it does not really have it all, but it seemed active and healthy enough...
Of course phalaropes are incredibly dainty and small birds, and I got a nice record shot of it alongside a female Pied Wagtail giving a really nice example of just how small they are, what super birds!
-Red-Necked Phalarope and Pied Wagtail
Whilst I was there Pete text me letting me know there was a Bee-Eater at Kilnsea wetlands, so I ran the short distance along to see if I could see it. The bird had obviously moved on and the wetlands themselves were very quiet but I did spot a pair of Gadwall on there, which is a Spurn tick for me.
-Red Necked Phalarope
The bird then moved across to the other end of the pond. We followed it round but this meant the light was ideal for photos so I got out the DSLR and started using that to take photos. I'm not a massive fan of my SLR as it never seems to get pin sharp focus, but having said that my efforts for these were not too shabby.
The bird then flew off to the far end of the pond again but I decided I had taken enough. Being so close to a bird like that was phenomenal and I have to say that this was possibly the second best birding experience I have had this year after the harlequin duck. What a beautiful bird.
It was getting towards late evening now so I headed back to the warren via Beacon Lane. On my way down I found a couple of Lesser Whitethroats in the bushes. They were impossible to photograph as they only came out into the open for a couple of seconds at a time. It was another yeartick for me, keeping the ball rolling.
What a way to start the weekend, with a lifer, and an incredibly showy and photogenic one at that. What a super bird.
Numpties Watchpoint: Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, Swift, Swallow, Gannet, Magpie, Carrion Crow, House Martin, Great Black-Backed Gull, House Sparrow, Meadow Pipit, Skylark,
Beacon Lane: Great Tit, Blue Tit, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Magpie, Dunnock, Robin, Wren, Starling, Woodpigeon, Swallow,
Holderness Field and Kilnsea Wetlands: Linnet, Yellow Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Gadwall, Avocet, Little Tern, Shelduck, Red-Necked Phalarope, Mute Swan, Sandwich Tern, Oystercatcher, Little Egret, Swift, Swallow, House Martin,