My first full day at Spurn. It started steady, dipping the black brant, but then got to see a Garden Warbler in the hand as compensation. A few birds moving on the sea, including my first Arctic Tern on the year, bringing me so close to 200. Then the radio crackled into life and the morning really kicked off. It happened that a Red-breasted Flycatcher had been found in the Crown car park, so I piled into Steves car and we raced up. There was a feeling of deja vu as I arrived to the news that it had just gone, flown across into Cliff Farm. A similar story to the one I missed at mig-fest. Whilst everyone else tried to find it from the road, I wandered down the canal and after waiting it did finally sit out. I whilstled the others but by the time they arrived the bird, which proved tricky all day, dived back into the bushes. It was some time before it remerged too, leaving me hoping I had not cocked it up. Thankfully it did come out and when it sat out I was able to get some record shots. However, the early morning gloom made it diffiuclt, and the bird was very tricky, and hard to follow. It continued to show all day but the first views in Cliff Farm sound like the best of it. Another lifer for the weekend for me.
I could have watched it longer, but the time was cut short by news a male Red-backed Shrike had been caught at the Warren. Once again I piled into Steves car and we raced down. In the hand the shrike was absolutely stunning, obviously. An adult male shrike is always fantastic but to see it up close you could really appreciate it, an incredibly handsome bird to say the least. Undoubtedly one of the many highlights of the week. I mean, what more can I say. Awesome...
-Red backed Shrike
After release the bird continued to show nicely along the canal. The day was warming up, so I decided to make a move up to the ponds via beacon lane to see if there was anything up there. I got very little on the way up, but once at ponds and wetlands there was a few things about, including Tufted Duck, Knot, Black and Bar-tailed Godwit flybys. Obviously the Little Terns were still there, with 12 sitting out on the shoreline. But the real highlight, and the best bird I found up until the Sunday was a flyby Velvet Scoter. I picked up a duck at sea, mid distance, but from long bank it was quite far away and the haze was making it difficult. However, it was clearly a Scoter, even from a long way out. It was only when I got to see its wings clearly that the White really stood out. I tried to get a photo but once I took my eyes off the scope I lost it. Still, a smashing Spurn and Year-tick for me.
As the afternoon wore on, the weather continued to be incredibly warm, so I decided to head on down to Clubleys to see if any Red-veined Darters were out and showing. I was in luck. I had four male and one female showing very well along the edge of the scrapes. I finally got the shots and views of the species that I had wanted since I first came to spurn almost two years ago.
I finished the day with a short trip to Sammies, but there was nothing much going on up that way. A couple of Grey Partridge gave me a fright when the erupted from the grass in front of me, and a tatty cream-crowned Marsh Harrier flew over. In the evening the NGBs started to arrive, allowing me to see old friends and make new ones. Despite there not being the numbers of birds around, it was a fantastic days birding.
Spurn: Canal and Warren: Woodpigeon, House Sparrow, Swallow, Shelduck, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chiffchaff, Feral Pigeon, Starling, Wren, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Pheasant, Curlew, Greylag Goose, Dunnock, Whimbrel, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Mallard, Magpie, Reed Bunting, House Martin, Black-tailed Godwit, Canada Goose, Gannet, Sandwich Tern, Common Scoter, Brent Goose, Whitethroat, Dunlin, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Common Gull, Garden Warbler, Little Tern, Arctic Tern, Red-throated Diver, Fulmar, Kittiwake, Grey Wagtail, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Red-backed Shrike, Oystercatcher, Skylark, Meadow Pipit,
Spurn: Beacon Lane and Holderness Field: House Martin, House Sparrow, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Robin, Woodpigeon, Goldfinch, Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Dunnock, Magpie, Swallow, Moorhen, Sedge Warbler, Carrion Crow, Shelduck, Little Egret, Avocet, Skylark, Yellow Wagtail, Black-headed Gull, Reed Bunting,
Spurn: Kilnsea Wetlands and Beacon Ponds: Tufted Duck, Ringed Plover, Little Egret, Avocet, Oystercatcher, Mallard, Mute Swan, Little Tern, Swallow, Cormorant, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Teal, Knot, Shelduck, Woodpigeon, Meadow Pipit, Herring Gull, Greylag Goose, Sandwich Tern, Skylark, Redshank, Pheasant, Bar-tailed Godwit, House Martin, Carrion Crow, Black-headed Gull, Dunlin, Reed Bunting, Velvet Scoter, Turnstone, Stock Dove, Four-spot Chaser, Orange Tip, Red Admiral
Spurn: Triangle: Blackbird, Woodpigeon, House Martin, Goldfinch, Swallow, Dunnock, Greenfinch, Whitethroat, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Meadow Pipit, Starling, Pied Wagtail, Reed Bunting, Sedge Warbler, Skylark, Moorhen, Linnet, Cuckoo, Peregrine, Grey Partridge, Marsh Harrier, Lapwing, Common Blue-tailed Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Red-veined Darter, Black-tailed Skimmer, Orange Tip, Wall Brown, Common Blue