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.
-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
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,