I had not decided when I was going to head over to Spurn for the NGB weekend, but as little seemed to be happening elsewhere I decided to make my move late Thursday morning to arrive on site around mid afternoon. News had broken during the day of a couple of Icterine Warblers on site, the second of which was at Sammies Point. With that in mind thats where I headed first.
Once at Sammies there was very little on offer so I headed off down the canal to the original Icterine Warbler that had been showing again. On the way down to the canal Paul collard me, telling me that Adam had just caught a Bluethroat at the warren. Without a radio I was oblivious and had missed it by the time I knew about it. This was a bit gutting but decided to make my way down that way on the off chance that it was still showing after its release. On the way down I picked up one of my tartiest year-ticks in the form of a Barn Owl gracefully hunting along the top of the Canal. I managed a few nice shots, of what was undoubtedly the best views I have ever had of this species. Also down the canal were a couple of very showy Cuckoos, which it would have been rude not to take a photo of.
I continued on my way, past the Icterine bushes. I had a quick look but the bird was not currently showing so opted to carry on down to the Warren. Once there I could see an assembled crowd where I was informed the bird (a female) had been showing after release in the lower branches of a tree. However, after a while waiting the bird did not show again, and it looked likely that it had gone. The crowd disbanded until there were only a few of us left. It was then that Adam came round from checking the nets to reveal he had re-caught the Bluethroat. To prevent the bird becoming unsettled he did not show it, as it had been flicky before, but did allow me me to have a brief view in the hand before he released it. Once it had been let go it entered a dark dell, where it sat for some time, but in especially gloomy conditions so I was unable to get a good photo. However, the shots I got of the bird in the hand were nice, showing the strong facial markings and even a hint of colour on the throat. A superb lifer and a great start to the weekend.
After a while of sitting in the dell the bird did drop in, never to be seen again. Once it left I headed back up to where the Icterine Warbler was being viewed from in Canal Hedge. To describe it as distant would be an understatement but the bird did show, allowing me to get a view of my first of this species for over a year. I also sang intermittently too, which was something of a novelty. Obviously the light and the distance meant my photos are not particularly good, but its a record shot at least...
So despite only having half a day I did manage to pick up a lifer, a couple of year-ticks and have a swell time doing it. What a great start to the weekend.
Spurn: Sammies Point: Greenfinch, Pied Wagtail, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Collard Dove, Chaffinch, House Sparrow, Swallow, House Martin, Starling, Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting, Greylag Goose, Oystercatcher, Mallard, Redshank, Whitethroat, Wren, Great Tit, Dunnock, Dunlin, Sedge Warbler, Linnet, Avocet,
Spurn: Canal and Warren: Swift, Barn Owl, Mallard, Woodpigeon, Swallow, Shelduck, Magpie, Meadow Pipit, Cuckoo, Mute Swan, House Martin, Skylark, Kestrel, Great Tit, Spotted Flycatcher, Chiffchaff, Blue Tit, Bluethroat, Herring Gull, Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Brent Goose, Curlew, Whimbrel,