Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Orgreave Lakes

With nothing really on the cards to go any distance for I decided to take a trip down to the local patch for my first spot of birding for the new semester. Granted, it was a little quiet, but there were still a few nice bits and pieces.
Highlight of these was a Little Egret. One had been seen the previous week but had since moved on. I was pretty surprised then when I spotted it on the small island. It moved between the two lakes a bit whilst I was there, Still scarce in Sheffield, but no doubt one that will become far more abundant in future.
Another patch tick were 2 Siskins that flew over the trees alongside the river. That being said, they are so abundant this year that its hardly a surprise they turned up here as well. Other species on site were plenty of Pochard, a few Great Crested Grebe, a few large gulls and the usual suspects. A bit of a slow start to the year, but plenty to build on.
-Little Egret

Species List:
Orgreave Lakes: Grey Heron, Little Egret, Coot, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Pochard, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Graylag Goose, Canada Goose, Cormorant, Black-Headed Gull, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Great Black-Backed Gull, Woodpigeon, Siskin, Long-Tailed Tit, Linnet, Goldfinch, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Magpie, Carrion Crow,

Monday, 14 September 2015

Portsmouth and New Forest

Granted this was a long time ago, dropping my brother off in Portsmouth for his year long placement. On the day when we dropped him off I headed to Titchfield Haven due to the fact he could only have two visitors. Few bits and pieces, a flock of Pale-Bellied Brent Geese was pretty nice and a set of very unwary turnstones which were running around only a few meters away. Pretty awesome. 
For the afternoon we headed down the coast where there were a few Sandwich Terns, and a juvenile tern with them which is probably a Common. There were also a few Med Gulls around, which are always nice to see.
The next day we headed into the New Forest, first time for me. It was pretty cool, a very beautiful place, but the weather was a little off being overcast all day. Birds were at a bit of a premium, but we saw a few goodies, if not regular species such as Common  Buzzard and Little Egret. Insects were a little better with Migrant Hawker and Hornet on the agenda looking lovely.
We were sposed to be staying til Wednesday but as it happened there was a severe rainstorm on Wednesday night and the caravan awning collapsed on me, drenching all my clothes and leaving me with nothing for the rest of the week. With that in mind, we decided to call it quits and go home early.
-Pale-Bellied Brent Geese
-Turnstones
-Common (?) Tern
-Migrant Hawker

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Spurn Day 9

It was my last day before I had to go home. With the easterlies continuing I hoped for one final bird to drop in, but alas only a handful of scarce migrants came down. As usual I started with a seawatch, which was probably the slowest of my time. The highlight, and real oddity really, was a pair of Avocets that flew south quite far out really, when all things considered.
I did my usual wander around the warren, the triangle and beacon lane, and had good numbers of Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Wheatear and Redstart. Late morning and a red breasted flycatcher was found in the crown car park, but only showed briefly and was not seen again, so I missed it. Other than that, the birdlife was mainly composed of the regular ducks and waders.
-Wheatear
In the late afternoon I went with Tim to Sammies point where we continued to have good migrant numbers, including around 10 Whinchat and the same number of Redstarts. Sadly though I had to cut my time short to get a lift back. It was not quite the haul I had hoped for but made for a nice end to my time at Spurn.

Species List:
Seawatching: Sandwich Tern, Avocet, Wigeon, Teal, Common Scoter, Gannet, Red-Throated Diver, Black-Headed Gull, Common Gull, Fulmar, Great Black-Backed Gull, Herring Gull, Wheatear, Swallow,
Warren, Triangle, Beacon Lane: Wheatear, Reed Bunting, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Yellow Wagtail, Spotted Flycatcher, Whinchat, Swallow, Great Tit, Starling. Carrion Crow, Dunlin, Redstart, Moorhen, Green Sandpiper, Teal, Wigeon, Mallard, Little Grebe, Snipe, Magpie, Feral Pigeon, Willow Warbler, Sanderling, Redshank, Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit,
Sammies: Whinchat, Stonechat, Wheatear, Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, Ringed Plover, Little Egret, Great Tit, Blackbird, Dunlin, Carrion Crow, Willow Warbler, 

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Spurn Day 8

I was kinda supposed to go home on Tuesday but with the oncoming easterlies I decided to stay and cancel my driving lesson. This turned out to be one of my greatest calls in my birdwatching time, as Wednesday turned out to be one of the best days birding I have ever had.
It was a muggy, overcast day, but as per usual the day started at 6.00 for me. Paul was down ringing and there were five of us up at Seawatching, one of those being Tim who was commuting between Seawatching and Ringing. Ducks were the only things really moving, but numbers were down on the previous seawatches.
Tim called out to get on this at around 7.20. The bird he had seen was very Fulmar like, but was flapping far more frequently. He quickly followed up his initial alert with his identification of a probable pterodroma petrel. It was about three quarters of the way out, but even at that distance, as it approached north, you could almost make out the ‘W’ mark on the wings, and the black underwings were obvious. After a short while, as it came further north we all watch and discussed, until Tim made the call that it was indeed a Feas-type petrel. He began to film it, so I decided to borrow his film rather than try any photos of my own. It sheared only occasionally, but was clearly a Feas Petrel. Tim ran down to get Paul and wake Ed and when Ed arrived I lent him my scope so he could see it, but by now it was well north and had moved further out, and whether he got it or not is not overly clear. 
video
-Fea's Petrel (Video and Screenshot: Tim Jones)
To say we were all buzzing after that was an understatement. One of the lads in the hide had come up from Southampton for a meeting, but that had been cancelled and had gone to spurn instead. Apart from that we were all Spurn regulars. It’s a bird I never expected to see, and never as well as that. Obviously you can’t twitch them, so it’s all down to luck. And thanks to Tim we had indeed got that slice of luck.
Buzzing after the morning, and with easterlies in the air, I decided to wander around to see if any migrants had dropped in. The birds were a little thinner than I would have hoped, the only real migrants were not Autumn but Winter, with 2 Brent Geese on the ponds being the highlight. I thought it was a Pale-bellied and a Dark-bellied but was not sure, so I was pleased when Tim confirmed my identification.
-Pale Bellied and Dark Bellied Brent Geese
I decided to walk along the beach by the ponds to see if any snow buntings had dropped in. They had not but a large flock of gulls up by Easington Lagoons drew my attention. There were a few Mediterranean Gulls but no others of any note. I had a quick look round the boatyard and then set off back. A few more large gulls seemed to be arriving on the beach, so rather than return by long bank as had been my initial plan, I set off back via the beach again.
This was well founded, as on my first scan through the gulls I picked out one which seemed to had an odd shaped bill and white head. I immediately thought Caspian and as I approached my suspicions did not dim. Sadly though all the gulls were then flushed into the water by dog walkers, and the subsequent bird then got up and flew south leaving me with nothing expect a few poor photos to go on.
I called it out, rather timidly, and set off for long bank. Doubts were running through my head. And though I felt confident about my identification I remained unsure. Imagine then, the horror I felt when the bird I had called out thinking would now be in Lincolnshire rocked up on wetlands. I was mortified. I called out its new location rather reluctantly, followed by a request if someone could come and check I was right. 
Ian Smith came up, more to photograph it than anything else, and together with a few others in the hide, we discussed the points of the bird. The more we looked the more points we saw for Caspian, but the more we saw against it too. In the end, we took a tonne of photos and decided to ask Tim.
The first person I saw who asked was Rael, and when he looked at the photos he thought Yellow-legged. My heart sank. And when I showed Tim in the evening he said the same thing, although when I mentioned we had flight shots he requested a look, as they would prove conclusive. And conclusive they did, as the bird clearly showed an extended white rump and white underwings, which are diagnostic for Caspian Gull.
I had kinda hoped when I lifered Casp, I would get a stonking and obvious first winter bird with small eye and long beak, not had a dubious bird that around 10 birders couldn't work out for sure. That being said, I learned an awful lot from it, especially now I had more diagnostic features to go off for future. In addition to it being a lifer, my first truly self-found lifer for a long time, its also my first Yorkshire description species and my name in the Spurn report. All in all, its been a very exciting, nerve wracking and educational day... 
-1st Winter Caspian Gull
Still unknowing the true identification of my gull I headed back down the canal for a bite to eat at the Warren. Half way down Tim collard me. He had caught yesterdays kingfisher and asked my to run it up to Churchfield. I was pretty thrilled, so delayed lunch. My surprise when I heard a kingfisher calling a little way back up the canal, was perhaps a little uncalled for given what was in my bag, but all became clear when I spotted a second Kingfisher hunting the top of the canal. That makes two Kingfishers in one day, and just yesterday it was a new bird for me at Spurn. Of course it goes without saying that in the hand it looked simply fantastic. Beautiful.
-Kingfisher
I spent the rest of the afternoon eating my lunch/dinner, before heading up for a relaxed spot of seawatching. Not so. Soon after we arrived we saw a aisled fulmar on the water, and it eventually crashed into the beach. Ed collected it as we assessed its health to see if we could revive its fortunes. Sadly, it died during the night.
-Fulmar
It was quite a day, with 2 lifers and a host of other goodies. I think its safe to say that staying on an extra couple of days was a very good idea...

Species List:
Seawatching: Wigeon, Teal, Fulmar, Common Scoter, Fea's Petrel, Arctic Skua, Gannet, Red-Throated Diver, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Common Gull, Black-Headed Gull, Herring Gull, Swallow, Dunlin,
Canal: Woodpigeon, Swallow, Mallard, Wigeon, Magpie, Meadow Pipit, Kestrel, Reed Bunting, Turnstone, Redshank, Little Egret, Greenfinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Blackbird, Shelduck, Dunnock, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Spotted Flycatcher, Robin, Gadwall, Teal, Graylag Goose, Mute Swan, Greenshank, Lapwing, Curlew, House Sparrow,
Ponds, Lagoons: Peregrine, Curlew, Dunlin, Cormorant, Black-Headed Gull, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Little Grebe, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Yellow Wagtail, Starling, Brent Goose, Mediterranean Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-Backed Gull, Ringed Plover, Sandwich Tern, Sanderling, Wheatear, Kestrel, Pied Wagtail, Caspian Gull, Reed Bunting, Kingfisher, Whinchat,

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Spurn Day 7

Day 7 in Spurn, and the wind was now well and truly east. Sadly, for the best of it, I would not be around, but I hoped something good might drop in during the day. I was not disappointed, as during the seawatch Paul popped up to tell us that he had caught a Wood Warbler. We went down and had a look at a very nice specimen in the hand.
-Wood Warbler
 The sea was very quiet, but there were very good numbers of duck moving, with both Scoter and Teal passing north in abundance. Among their ranks were other ducks, including a few Wigeon and at the last 2 Shoveler in a large Scoter Flock. It has made a real difference having a scope, and being able to determine the features on the ducks for myself. Two Grey Wagtails also made a welcome addition to the morning.
-Common Scoter
 Same as the previous days, I wandered around the triangle, then Beacon lane before Wetlands and Ponds. It was a pretty reasonable haul of species but nothing really stands out as being unusual or irregular for spurn. Rob had found a second Wood Warbler in Canal Hedge, and seeing this bird was probably the highlight of my stroll around.
As the afternoon wore on, Paul and Tim tried again to capture the Red-backed Shrike in Cornerfield. After quite a while it finally crashed into one of the nets and we finally got to see the bird in the hand. Once Tim had drawn his fingers away it was very placid, but initially it would not remove its beak from his finger. I’ll let the photos do the talking, as it was pretty awesome to see. 
-Red-Backed Shrike
By the time we had finished with the Shrike, the evening had drawn on. As a result I headed down for tea. Post-tea I headed up to Seawatching but it was very quiet, so did not stay long. Even so, it had been a pretty awesome day, and seeing the Shrike in the hand was definitely one of the highlights of the week.


Species List:
Seawatching: Common Scoter, Wigeon, Teal, Gannet, Red-throated Diver, Fulmar, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Sooty Shearwater, Sparrowhawk, Arctic Skua, Tufted Duck, Wood Warbler, Razorbill, Grey Wagtail, Mallard, Kittiwake, Shoveler,
Triangle and Beacon Lane: Wren, Whinchat, Red-backed Shrike, Magpie, Little Grebe, Mallard, Reed Bunting, Swallow, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Starling, House Sparrow, Carrion Crow, Robin, Goldfinch, Collard Dove, Blue Tit, Dunnock, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Meadow Pipit, Pied Flycatcher,
Wetlands and Holderness Field: Grey Heron, Woodpigeon, Yellow Wagtail, Starling, Mallard, Willow Warbler, Magpie, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Feral Pigeon, Linnet, Greenshank, Teal, Black-Tailed Godwit, Ruff, Sandwich Tern, Wigeon, Shoveler, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Black-Headed Gull, Lapwing, Little Egret, Common Gull, Curlew, Little Grebe, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-Backed Gull

Kilnsea and Canal: Skylark, Swallow, House Martin, Blackbird, Linnet, House Sparrow, Woodpigeon, Wren, Turnstone, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Little Egret, Pied Flycatcher, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Whitethroat, Wood Warbler, Reed Bunting, Snipe, Meadow Pipit, Whinchat, Great-Spotted Woodpecker, Robin, Willow Warbler, Red-Backed Shrike,

Monday, 7 September 2015

Spurn Day 6

Now the festival was over, we had nothing more to do but enjoy the birding on offer and relax. The remaining birders on site settled down in the Seawatching hide for a regular seawatch of just chilling out and seeing if there was anything moving.
There were a few things on the sea, but nothing major. Sooty Shearwaters still moving through were the highlight really, as well as a few ducks on the move. The seawatch was interrupted by the call of a ‘probable corncrake’ on Clubleys. We all rushed over and tried an organised flush, initially we failed, but then flushed the offending bird: a female pheasant! Still, for our efforts we did see a Short-Eared Owl and the first Pale-bellied Brent Goose of the autumn, so not bad at all.
-Pale-Bellied Brent Goose
Afterwards we headed up to Westmere to help do the final things for the festival. We were driving up with Tim and Ed, when I spotted something large and grey in a bush on the side of the road. We were moving at 40mph, but without thinking I called out Barred Warbler! Immediately the car slammed to a halt and the others both looked at me like I had gone mad. I knew I had made a pretty bold claim but insisted, so the car went into reverse and we went back to have a look. And there it was, sat out in an elderberry bush, a Barred Warbler. It dived in not long after we had the identification confirmed, but it showed occasionally during the day. I got a few plaudits for that, Barred Warbler id at 40!
Once the wrapping up had be finalised I had a wander round the triangle and then round Beacon Lane and then round the wetlands and ponds. Without doubt the best bird was a Kingfisher which flew past me at the top of Beacon Lane. Spurn tick! There had been one around, but this was the first time I had managed to connect with it, and I was pretty pleased with that too. A few regular things were the best of the rest. A Marsh Harrier was nice, as well as a few waders on the wetlands and ponds such as a greenshank and ruff.
The best of the walk was in Cornerfield. Of course the Red-backed Shrike had been around all week but the chance to get a decent photo had been restricted by the bird’s mobile habits and the light often being against me. But on this occasion it was perched up nicely and was in decent light so I was able to grab a few shots. It was catching insects, first a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly, then a Rosels Bush Cricket, which were in abundance. A nice bonus was that Adam and I located the Harvest mouse nest that was in the field and had been found by Tim. It’s quite a miniature marvel, as I hope the photos show. 
-Red-Backed Shrike
-Rosels Bush Cricket
-Harvest Mouse Nest
In the evening it was Seawatching again, and again there were small numbers of seabirds but events were largely dominated by ducks, with Scoter and Teal moving. A few Sooty Shearwaters also made an appearance, as did both Great and Arctic Skua

Species List:
Seawatching: Sooty Shearwater, Dunlin, Teal, Common Scoter, Mallard, Gannet, Arctic Skua, Great Skua, Red-throated Diver, Fulmar, Sandwich Tern, Guillemot, Brent Goose, Short-eared Owl,
Traingle: Goldfinch, Skylark, Pheasant, Meadow Pipit, Barred Warbler, Mediterranean Gull, Common Gull, Black-headed Gull, Red-backed Shrike, Linnet, Woodpigeon, Starling, Dunnock, Whitethroat, Yellow Wagtail, Kingfisher,
Holderness Field, Wetlands and Ponds: Black-Tailed Godwit, Common Gull, Mallard, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Feral Pigeon, Yellow Wagtail, Swallow, Woodpigeon, Linnet, Starling, Little Egret, Greenshank, Ruff, Herring Gull, Mute Swan, Wigeon, Teal, Curlew, Graylag Goose, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Sandwich Tern, Cormorant, Marsh Harrier, Little Grebe, Yellow-legged Gull, Ringed Plover, Turnstone,
Seawatching: Arctic Skua, Great Skua, Teal, Common Scoter, Sooty Shearwater, Fulmar, Gannet, Red-throated Diver, Razorbill, Guillemot, Kittiwake, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull,

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Spurn Day 5

The second day of the festival, for me, was just a bit of blogging about really. Given yesterday’s seawatch success that’s where I started, but there were not as many birds, only a few Skuas and the like.
Still early into the morning there was a radio message called out that a funny looking Redpoll had been caught at churchfield and would Martin go and have a look. Martin was otherwise detained by breakfast but I got a lift up with Clive and we went to go and check it out.
The reason for the interest was that the bird showed characters of being a Mealy Redpoll, in that it was larger, greyer and had more white around it. We were not convinced but when in the hand next to a Lesser Redpoll the contrast was obvious, and when we had a look at the photos later it was pretty clear that it was indeed a Mealy Redpoll, only that a number of its characters were not as pronounced as we would like. Either way, it was an interesting start to the morning, and Mealy Redpoll was a lifer for me, so there we go then.
-Lesser and Mealy Redpoll
-Mealy Redpoll
 The rest of the day passed without real incident. In the late morning I did a little bit of the triangle and watched a Barred Warbler crashing through some bushes along Beacon Lane. I had left my camera in the warren, as I had been trying to gather my things from the previous night (Left in Tims Car) and so only had the scope. It was a shame really as it was the best view of the species I have ever had.
That being considered, in the afternoon I headed up the Westmere Farm to photograph another, different Barred Warbler which was frequenting the hedges along the back of the barn. It was more distant but at times just as showy and I got a few photos of it sat atop the hedge.
-Barred Warbler
 As the festival began to die down I headed up to Steves for a BBQ to celebrate the festival. I was a little early so wandered up the wetlands and to scan the fields at Sammies. I was pleasantly surprised to see a Short-eared Owl quartering the fields at Sammies, whilst on Wetlands there were 3 Ruff feeding. A really nice end to the day and the festival.
-Short-Eared Owl

Species List:
Triangle: Spotted Flycatcher, Barred Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Lesser Redpoll, Mealy Redpoll, Siskin, Mediterranean Gull, Black-Headed Gull, Great-Spotted Woodpecker, Herring Gull, Woodpigeon, Ruff, Short-eared Owl, House Sparrow, Starling, Carrion Crow,

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Spurn Day 4

On the Saturday of the festival the walks began, and my walk was down the Penninsula. Had it not gone ahead, at one point which that looked likely due to the tide, I would have life ticked Corys at Seawatching but it did go ahead and I had the honour of taking a small party down the point, with Marcus.
Just before we set off on the walk down there was a radio message called out about a Ruff showing off the warren. This was my current worst yearlist miss, so I rushed down to make sure I got it, and sure enough there was indeed a nice fresh juvenile Ruff feeding on the mud, which was a nice enough start to the day.
Birds on the walk itself were pretty thin on the ground, with only a few birds to be seen. The highlight, and only bird that really showed was a nice Pied Flycatcher. We did also have an Arctic Skua over the breach, which gave us a promising start and hope that we would be able to show people the birds, but sadly not.
The only saving grace was Chalk Bank Hide where there were a few Waders roosting and a few raptors hunting them. We had a tagged Marsh Harrier which has been in the area for a bit. Granted the tags are a little unsightly but they do mean that we can tell where it’s from. We had good number and variety of waders, as well as a few different kinds of gull. The highlight of the gulls was a splendid young Lesser Black-Back.
-Marsh Harrier
 I was really nervous before but it seemed to go well despite the lack of birds. The people who came down said they were pleased with what we had seen, so I like to think I helped make it worth their while
In the afternoon I wandered up to Westmere farm to have a look at some of the more unusual moths that had been caught that morning around the site. Convolvulus Hawkmoth was there to admire again, as well as a Red Underwing, a lifer and a couple of others which I did not recognise.
-Convolvulus Hawkmoth
-Red Underwing
Species List:

Spurn Peninsula: Ruff, Greenshank, Arctic Skua, Pied Flycatcher, Sparrowhawk, Merlin, Avocet, Redshank, Dunlin, Knot, Little Egret, Blackbird, Whitethroat, Kestrel, Pied Wagtail, Gannet, Teal, Bar-Tailed Godwit, Grey Plover, Sanderling, Turnstone, Whimbrel, Curlew, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Dunnock, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Carrion Crow,

Friday, 4 September 2015

Spurn Day 3

Friday is, or course, when the festival begins, with an evening talk and the first guests beginning to arrive. As such it was all hands on deck for the duration of the day.
The Seawatch in the morning was pretty steady but the species list was good, with a Great Northern Diver flying south with a few Red-Throats so that the size comparison really stood out. We also had both Great and Arctic Skua as well as a young Yellow-Legged Gull.
Once we had put the final pieces of the festival together I was placed on car managing duty, which meant instructing visitors as to where to go and how to register. It was a pretty slow job, and did mean I missed a treecreeper, but while stood there I did get some decent birds.
The undoubted highlight of these was a ringtail Hen Harrier. It had come in off the sea that morning and been blogging around the area for some time before I saw it flying low over Holderness field. It’s my first one for a very long time, but circumstances meant that I was unable to get a photo of it, and my views were only brief as a return to duty soon called.

In the evening the festival started with a talk about the east coast bird observatories and watchpoints followed by the pub. It all went very well, a really nice start to the events. 

Species List:
Seawatching: Teal, Wigeon, Red-Throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, Arctic Skua, Great Skua, Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Gannet, Common Scoter, Black-Headed Gull, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Greater Black-Backed Gull, Dunlin, Swallow, Razorbill, Knot, Grey Plover, Fulmar, Oystercatcher, Swift, Bar-Tailed Godwit, Great Crested Grebe, Yellow-Legged Gull,
Westmere Farm: Hen Harrier, Snipe, Greenshank, Dunlin, Little Egret, Swallow, House Martin, Sedge Warbler, Wren, Redshank, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Woodpigeon, Starling, Black-Headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Herring Gull, Mallard, Graylag Goose, Robin, Feral Pigeon, Collard Dove, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel,

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Spurn Day 2

Today the festival preparation began, so I decided to try and stay near enough to Westmere Farm for the days birding. It started with a little Seawatching where there were a few seabirds like Arctic Skua passing and a handful of duck, including a Pintail, which was a bit of a novelty.
I then headed round the triangle, through Beacon Lane, round to Wetlands and finished off at Sammies Point before work began. A Green Sandpiper on Holderness field was the highlight of the first half but the ponds had really impressive numbers of Knot and Grey Plover roosting, which was pretty cool to see. 
-Wader Roost
 Whilst walking to Sammies I was collared by Martin Stoyle, who asked if I was interested in moths. I said I had a passing interest, thinking it might be a rare brown migrant, but instead he produced 2 Convolvulus Hawkmoths which were a lifer and only my fourth Hawkmoth species ever. I was pretty impressed to say the least.
-Convolvulus Hawkmoth
There was nothing much doing at Sammies, but my trip there was cut short by a call to help with the festival preparations, and that is how I spent the rest of the day.


Species List:
Seawatching: Pintail, Wigeon, Arctic Skua, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Gannet, Black-Headed Gull, Great Black-Backed Gull, Red-Throated Diver, Fulmar, Razorbill, Common Scoter,
Triangle: Reed Warbler, Swift, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Tree Pipit, Cormorant, Sand Martin, House Martin, Linnet, Goldfinch, Swallow, House Sparrow, Mute Swan, Little Egret, Mallard, Rook, Jackdaw, Red-Backed Shrike, Starling, Robin, Black-Headed Gull, Common Tern, Knot,
Beacon Lane: Willow Warbler, Greenfinch, Linnet, Blackcap, Greenshank, Woodpigeon, House Sparrow, Blue Tit, Yellow Wagtail, Graylag Goose, Curlew, Green Sandpiper,
Beacon Ponds and Wetlands: Avocet, Turnstone, Greenshank, Little Grebe, Common Sandpiper, Sanderling, Dunlin, Knot, Redshank, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Mute Swan, Little Egret, Cormorant, Common Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Black-Headed Gull, Black-Tailed Godwit, Bar-Tailed Godwit, Pheasant, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Herring Gull, Sandwich Tern, Kestrel, Peregrine,
Sammies Point: Reed Bunting, Curlew, Kestrel, Little Egret, Peregrine, Linnet, Spotted Flycatcher, Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Whitethroat, Siskin, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Wheatear, Whinchat, Meadow Pipit,

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Spurn Day 1

For day one at Spurn it was a fairly regular affair, with a little Seawatching in the morning followed by a wander around. The seawatch had good number of Skuas moving which was nice, and there were 2 Pomarine Skuas amongst them, which were only my second and third ever and first of the year.
The mornings walk round was interrupted by a Barred Warbler, after I had reached the wetlands. Fortunately Ian was also at Wetlands and kindly drove me down to take a look at this monster in the hand. As always it’s a pleasure to see birds in the hand, but this was an improvement on previous Barred Warblers as I managed to get some decent photos of it.
-Barred Warbler
 Once the warbler had been released we drove up to Corner Field to take a look at the long staying Red-Backed Shrike. I picked it up in a tree in the corner and so we began to try and get some decent shots. They are nothing exceptional but for the light and distance they will do for a start. Either way, it’s a lovely bird to see.
-Red-Backed Shrike
I then proceeded to walk up Beacon Lane in search of anything, but was cut short upon arriving at long bank when I received a phone call from Tim saying the Black Stork at Sunk Island had been refound and that we were going for it. I ran to the wetlands car park to begin two hours and wild goose chasing without a sniff of stork.
We decided we would try again later, but called off at a field in the area to check out the gulls for any goodies. It was here that Tim picked up the Stork flying over the trees at the very far end of the field. We got to watch it for only a minute or so before it dropped below the trees. Within five mins a whole raft of birders had arrived and we had not even put the news out, so we decided to leave it until this evening and then come back in the hope it was showing.
I then spent the afternoon wandering around the Canal where I finally added Garden Warbler to my yearlist, as well as seeing some other goodies, such as Siskin, Peregrine, Siskin, Greenshank and the rest.
In the evening we headed out to Patrington to pick up Ed, and to have a look for the stork. Having scouted the area in the morning we now had a good idea of where to go, and at the first ditch we rocked up at it was there, distant and moving away, but there. I managed a few record shots and got to watch it for a while before it lumbered round the corner. It was amazing. 
-Black Stork
We arrived back at Spurn and finished the day with Seawatching. Here I added Great Skua and Sooty Shearwater to the yearlist, as well as seeing Black Tern and Kittiwake for the day list. It was quite a way to begin the week at Spurn.


Species List:
Seawatching: Red-throated Diver, Gannet, Sandwich Tern, Yellow Wagtail, Common Tern, Swallow, Greater Black-Backed Gull, Arctic Skua, Common Gull, Fulmar, Pomarine Skua,
Triangle, Beacon Lane: Yellow Wagtail, Swallow, Sand Martin, Great Tit, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Pied Flycatcher, Little Egret, Redshank, Dunlin, Peregrine, Feral Pigeon, Spotted Flycatcher, Moorhen, Common Gull, Black-Headed Gull, Dunnock, Blue Tit, Starling, Mediterranean Gull, Willow Warbler, Collard Dove, House Sparrow, Siskin, Tree Sparrow, Meadow Pipit, Curlew, Bar-Tailed Godwit, Barred Warbler, Red-backed Shrike, Greenfinch, Linnet, House Martin, Graylag Goose, Goldfinch, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Greenshank, Ringed Plover, Herring Gull, Great Black-Backed Gull, Robin, Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Redstart, Lesser Whitethroat,

Seawatching: Sooty Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, Red-throated Diver, Kittiwake, Great Skua, Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Black Tern, Oystercatcher,