Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Spurn Week 7

Monday 25th July
Having started the night shift again the amount of time I actually get to spend birding is vastly reduced. When I awoke mid afternoon I immedately headed round to Kilnsea Wetlands in the hunt for a possible caspian gull, but was just a herring gull in my opinion. Once I was back at the Obs I decided to walk around the Canal Bushes. After the birds failed to produce anything I began to check through the butterflies, specifically the Skippers to check for Essex Skipper. After some initial confusion where I ended following different individuals, I did eventually add this species to my Spurn list.
-Essex Skipper
 I headed round to Holderness field with Arash where we had 2 Green Sandpipers, a few Yellow Wagtails and a rather smart juvenile Stonechat as the best of it. As Swifts were steadily trickling down whilst we were there we decided to head to numpties to make sure we did not miss anything. Sadly though, no sooner had we arrived than did the movement completely dry up. The only real highlight was a Stoat that came bounding right at us through Clubleys field. As a result I was soon back at my caravan for a nap before the night shift.


Sightings List:
Beacon Lane & Holderness Field: Green Sandpiper, Yellow Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Swift, Whimbrel, Avocet, Carrion Crow, Herring Gull, Common Teal, Mallard, Shelduck, Stonechat, 
Numpties: Swift, Common Scoter, Great Tit, Swallow, Sand Martin, Carrion Crow, 

Tuesday 26th July
Sadly the fox did make an appearance tonight, and it took my best efforts to chase it away. Man I hate that thing. Anyway, all the young survived the night I believe so its nice to know my suffering is being appreciated. In the morning I got a couple of Canada Geese on wetlands which are fairly unusual here but aside from that...
When I eventually dragged myself out of bed around mid-afternoon I headed down to the Canal but there was not much going on there, the highlight probably being the ever present Little Grebe on the canal scrape. Next I walked up to sammies point but the tide was out and there were no waders around really. In short, I did not see a great deal today.

Sightings List:
Canal Zone: Whitethroat, Reed Bunting, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Curlew, Mallard, Redshank, Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull, Little Grebe, Carrion Crow, Magpie,
Sammies Point: Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Golden Plover, Redshank, Dunlin, Magpie, Starling, 

Wednesday 27th July
Tonight's shift was significantly quieter, with no real disturbances to report. I checked a couple of times but saw nothing so got to enjoy a peaceful night. Come morning I was disappointing to see that it was raining, although it would make the sleep in somewhat easier.
So I foolishly thought, when I was awoken at around 9.30 to the radio crackling into life about a White-rumped Sandpiper at the ponds. It was only an initial report as the finder did not have a radio, but it was quickly confirmed. Part of me wished it was not one, so I could just stay in bed. However, I was soon out of bed and making my way, somewhat groggily, up to the ponds.
Once there it was apparent the bird had merged into the increasing flock of roosting Dunlin, gathering up to 2000 when I arrived. After a while looking though the bird in question came out, although not long before it decided to fly and headed off to the other end of the ponds, revealing the distinctive white rump.
This was the story of the birds tidal roost, with the bird also being incredibly distant before it flew onto the beach when flushed by a Peregrine. Sadly I managed to get no photos of it, and the views I got were somewhat restricted by the distance. That being said, I could clearly see the rump on multiple occasions when in flight, and the deck views were good in not brief, and its better than not seeing it at all. Sadly I failed to get any photos but the shot from Mr Jonnie Fisk is a pretty accurate portrayal of what we saw.
-White-rumped Sandpiper
There were impressive numbers of Terns and Waders on the ponds, but nothing else overly out of the ordinary. I headed back to bed once it became apparent that the Sandpiper was not coming back and in the afternoon I ended up painting the observatory decking and then going shopping, so no additional birds there either.

Sightings List:
Beacon Ponds: Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwit, Little Grebe, Mallard, Grey Heron, Peregrine, Knot, Cormorant, Common Tern, Little Tern, Arctic Tern, Sandwich Tern, Yellow Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit, Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull, Little Egret, Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting, Turnstone, White-rumped Sandpiper, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper,

Thursday 28th July
The night-shift was far quieter than previous nights, with no need at all to go out and check. However, my morning sleep was cut short by a lawnmower and with a cold now setting in today felt pretty rough.
I headed up to Kilnsea Wetlands for a look once I had gathered my senses and was rewarded with a few birds, mainly Sandwich Terns and Black-headed Gulls but also a few nice Yellow Wagtails. The weather did take a turn for the worse though and I was soon back in obs catching up on my lost sleep...

Sightings List:
Kilnsea Wetlands: Wigeon, Mallard, Sandwich Tern, Yellow Wagtail, Reed Bunting, Meadow Pipit, Swallow, Starling, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Dunlin, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Arctic Tern, Little Tern, 

Friday 29th July
Another quiet night shift was livened up when I found Spurns first Migrant Hawker of the year behind the tern hut in the very early hours of the morning. It got even livelier on my way back when I flushed a small brown bird at the back of the wetlands. My initial impression was Grasshopper Warbler due to the shape and colour of the tail and the general jizz of the bird. Subsequent flushing put beyond any doubt the identification of my first Grasshopper Warbler of the year and my best views ever of this species, although still only flight views. I was flushed it four times, each time the bird flying low past me and back into the phragmities. A nice treat for the morning. Mick got the directions off me when he took over about half and hour later, and he got even better views, with the bird sitting out briefly on a gatepost.
-Migrant Hawker
Once I had been to bed and woken up again I found myself at a loss as to what to do, and with the weather taking a turn for the worse I found myself idle at the observatory. News broke of a caspian gull at wetlands so I pilled into Ian's car and headed up. The gull in question certainly showed a number of pro caspian features, but the identification could not be clinched due to its age and the views obtained. I personally did not get a caspian gull impression, its head being overall too short and the birds posture being more horizontal than I would have imagined. Still it gave me something to do, and there was a Merlin and a couple of Yellow Legged Gulls to keep us happy.

Sightings List:
Kilnsea Wetlands: Merlin, Kestrel, Yellow Wagtail, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting, Herring Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Sandwich Tern, Little Egret, Oystercatcher, Avocet, Dunlin, Redshank, Graylag Goose, Mallard, Teal, Carrion Crow,

Saturday 30th July
After yesterday mornings excitement I could not imagine that it would be eclipsed the next day, but so wrong was I. Walking back along long bank at around half 5 I was thrilled to see the long bank Otter again, over a month since its last appearance. Views were substantially better than before, this time I was able to see the animals full profile as it swam towards me. However, the ditch bends and it quickly went out of sight. I made my way along the bank to a spot where I would be able to see up the ditch for when the animal continued swimming past in the hope I might be able to get a photo of it.
I waited for a good ten minuets, but then I spotted some of the reeds rustling, allowing me to presume that the animal was moving its way up, only very slowly. Soon I would get my photos. This assumption changed when the rustling reeds took a turn and started moving up the bank. I decided that this was not usual otter behaviour and that it was more than likely a pheasant or a large sedge warbler, and as such went back to watching the ditch.
What happened next was unbelievable. I spotted movement out of the corner of my eye and turned to see the otter emerge onto the top of long bank, on the gabions about five meters away from me. My head movement got its attention and there we were, both staring at each other. My camera was over my shoulder so I gingerly tried to reach it and almost succeeded before the Otter decided to bolt, crash back through the reeds and into the ditch where I did not see it again. Talk about an amazing wildlife encounter. What a moment.
The rest of the day nowhere near lived up to the morning. An afternoon at wetlands was plagued by insects and with no real birds. The highlight was a nice female Peregrine which had obviously chased all the high tide waders off ponds before I had got there.

Sightings List:
Kilnsea Wetlands: Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Kestrel, Yellow Wagtail, Dunlin, Mute Swan, Little Egret, Teal, Redshank, Yellow-legged Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Sandwich Tern, Greenshank,

Sunday 31st July
Another long night-shift down, but this time the fox made two appearances, keeping me on my toes for the whole night. In the morning I was something of a wreck as a result, and I did not manage anything particularly amazing as I had done the last two days.
The afternoon was hard work, the shifts have begun to catch up with me now leaving me exhausted most of the time. I made my way down the canal to good views of Sedge and Reed Warbler. On clubleys there were no dragonflies really. I finished off the walk by going round the triangle, and connected with the juvenile Redstart that had been around Rose Cottage. It showed nicely on the pavement before diving back into the bushes where it became far more elusive.

Sightings List:
Triangle: Redshank, Dunlin, Golden Plover, Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull, Mallard, Redstart, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Starling, Swallow, House Martin, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Teal, 

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Spurn Week 6

Monday 18th July
After my first night-shift in over two years I was looking forward to a proper days sleep with no interruptions. Alas that this turned into one of the most hectic mornings imaginable. It started pleasant enough, when on my way back I spotted a lovely juvenile Wheatear behind the tern hut. In the morning light I was able to snap a few nice enough photos of one of my favourite birds.
I waited for Mick on long bank and headed off home once he had arrived. This is when the real horror of the morning began to set it. On my way back over long bank I flushed a young Reed Bunting out of long bank. The bird could obviously not fly very well, judging by the fact that it crashed into the ponds about 10 meters out. Initially it looked like it would be Ok, as it spluttered its was towards the shore, but it then decided to turn back out into the middle of the ponds. It was at this point I decided to go it after it. I had to remove all the electronics from my pockets first and then waded/swam out to it. Sadly though by the time that I arrived at the bird it was already too late, and nothing more than a sodden corpse. I brought it back to shore and Mick tried to give it mouth to mouth but we were unable to save it. A really sad end to the night shift.
And that should have been that. I was soaking wet, stinking of pond and absolutely knackered. Ready for a shower and bed. I was so close, not more than 100 meters away from the obs when Mick crackeled over the radio that he had a pale legged stint up at the ponds. Now, rather than crawling into the shower and bed I was running for my scope and then back up to the ponds. When I arrived the birders were well into their discussion as to the stints identity. Least seemed to be favourite, but was clear that the light was a real problem and that the legs might not actually be yellow as they seemed. It took time before the bird moved and better views could be had, revealing after all that the bird was just a Little Stint.
-Little Stint
Once I finally made it to bed I struggled to get to sleep given that the day was not already very bright and warm. In the end I dragged myself out of bed around two in the afternoon and once I had woken up I made my way to the ponds for the high tide wader roost. I was rewarded with my first Curlew Sandpiper of the year. It was a stunning summer plumage red brick bird, the only downside was that it was very distant and that was reflected in my poor attempts to phone-scope it.
-Curlew Sandpiper
Sadly though I was still exhausted and once I was satisfied I had gone through all the waders and seen all the unusual species among the Dunlin I headed back to the obs for tea and then off to the night-shift.

Sightings List:
Beacon Ponds: Wheatear, Arctic Tern, Sandwich Tern, Dunlin, Knot, Little Tern, Grey Heron, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Pheasant, Common Tern, Curlew Sandpiper, Turnstone, Redshank, Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover,

Tuesday 19th July
Today I am leaving Spurn for a few days for my graduation. Sad but true. The morning was thankfully nowhere near as eventful as the previous day but there was not a great deal about, only the usual Dunlin and other waders. A cracking Bar-tailed Godwit behind the hut was about the best of it.
-Bar-tailed Godwit

Sightings List:
Beacon Ponds: Dunlin, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Bar-tailed Godwit, Herring Gull, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Reed Bunting,

Sunday 24th July
After a week of Graduation partying, plus not sleeping well in the hot weather had all but broken me sleep wise. As a result I was in no rush to get up on my first morning back at Spurn. I missed a red-necked phalarope on ponds, but that was the only species I missed, so I consider that a blessing in disguise.
I made my way down to seawatching once I got out of bed. There were a few waders, mainly Sanderling but a few other species thrown in too such as Dunlin and Knot. A quick check of Clubleys field produced a Snipe, but no dragonflies. The real highlight of the morning as an Arctic Skua that flew south, my first of the year and long overdue at that. It was a smart dark phase individual that flew fairly close in, affording nice views through the scope.
In the afternoon I went to bed in a desperate attempt to recapture something of a sleeping pattern before I began night shifts again...

Sightings List:
Seawatching: Sanderling, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Scoter, Arctic Skua, Swallow, Swift, Meadow Pipit, Common Snipe, Knot, Redshank, Whimbrel, Sand Martin, Red-breasted Merganser,

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Spurn Week 5

Monday 11th July
Back on mornings, meaning early starts but hopefully a few more birds given I'm now working with the tide. The waders were a very similar set to those that have been around previously, but in greater numbers. Dunlin were well over 2000. I counted 2390 but my counting in tens is probably somewhat off and there could well have been more. Other species were much easier to count; 21 Knot, 6 Sanderling, 15 Redshank.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the morning was when a Pale-bellied Brent Goose flew in and started chilling with the waders. Its July? What even! The bird was shot to bits, and chatting to some other birders at Spurn it seems to be a 1st winter age, so probably just stuck around. I put it out on twitter and it soon became apparent that it had spent the morning traveling down the coast, first seen at Whitburn up in Durham.
After my shift I headed down to Numpties where the was a few things moving. Sadly I missed the bee-eater but I did get nice views of Swifts and was a more productive use of the afternoon than a power nap.
-Pale-bellied Brent Goose

Sightings List:
Beacon Ponds: Knot, Sanderling, Dunlin, Redshank, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Common Tern, Grey Heron, Mediterranean Gull, Sanderling, Little Tern, Wigeon, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Brent Goose, Little Egret, Sedge Warbler, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Swift, Sand Martin, 

Tuesday 12th July
Very much a similar affair on ponds. Dunlin numbers seem to have dropped but as the high tide time now matches perfectly with the time most dog walkers are on the beach that is hardly surprising. A few nice things around the ponds; a Mediterranean Gull flew through, as did 6 Little Gulls. I finally spotted the Gadwall female in long-bank ditch, but only with a solitary chick. I was kind of hoping for a few more than that.
In the evening when heading out to my caravan I was stunned but thrilled to find a Hedgehog on the step up to the door. It did not run or anything, just sat there despite me basically being able to touch it. Its not a species I see very often, my last been also at Spurn two years ago. Its also the first time I have ever photographed one. What an awesome little critter.

Sightings List:
Beacon Ponds: Golden Plover, Sanderling, Mediterranean Gull, Knot, Little Tern, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Redshank, Dunlin, Little Gull, Gadwall, Pheasant, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Gannet, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Reed Bunting, Skylark, 

Wednesday 13th July
Another morning struggling to get out of bed. Today was an excellent morning for birds though, not least because I actually saw the two Little Tern chicks that have hatched within the dunes. At least something going right in the project at last.
Today's main highlight was something rather unexpected really, it being the first one at Spurn this year. Mid-morning, scanning through the terns and I stumbled across the most plumage perfect Roseate Tern I could have ever imagined. Its a species I have seen before, but never properly, so to finally see one on the deck, through the scope was really something. And although I hate the term, it is a 'self-found'. It was really pleasing for me to be able to nail the bird at first sight and then not have to doubt myself until it was confirmed. Sadly I was the only observer, as after I managed a few record shots all the terns got flushed and the Roseate flew off north. What a cracking bird.
Today was a good day for birds. The Brent Goose reappeared in the early hours, as did the Little Ringed Plover during the late morning. Sadly the waders were traumatized by the presence of a Peregrine which came through the colony three times. By the third visit there were no waders left, despite it being high tide, such is the impact that the predator had.
In the afternoon I headed down the canal and onto clubleys field to look for dragonflies but failed to find any. In fact the only thing from the whole walk was a smart Barn Owl perched up on a fence post with a mouse. Aside from that it was a very quiet afternoon.
-Roseate Tern

Sightings List:
Beacon Ponds: Redshank, Dunlin, Grey Heron, Greenshank, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Brent Goose, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Knot, Sanderling, Roseate Tern, Little-ringed Plover, Mallard, Mute Swan, Peregrine, Kestrel, Sedge Warbler, Skylark, Black-headed Gull, Cormorant, Swift, Swallow, Sand Martin, Common Scoter, Bar-tailed Godwit, Gadwall, Reed Bunting, 

Thursday 14th July
A fairly quiet day at the ponds, although still over 2000 Dunlin came in. I sadly failed to find anything massively exciting among them. The best of it were 4 Sanderling and a Turnstone. Other birds around the ponds included 6 Arctic Tern, the first Juvenile Sandwich Tern of the year and a Barn Owl early morning. That aside, it was very much a similar affair to the last few mornings.

Sightings List:
Beacon Ponds: Sanderling, Turnstone, Little Grebe, Redshank, Little Tern, Dunlin, Arctic Tern, Common Tern, Greenshank, Barn Owl, Sandwich Tern, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Herring Gull, Gannet, Common Scoter, Skylark, Linnet, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Black-headed Gull, 

Friday 15th July
Another day with similar patterns of species seen. Again, 2000 Dunlin came in but I once again unable to find anything lurking among them which was rare. A Golden Plover flyover was the only real difference in the variety of wader species on ponds this morning. 
There were up to 10 Common Terns around the ponds, plus 5 Sandwich Terns, although no sign of yesterdays Juvenile. Little Tern numbers continued to be high at around 70 birds at high tide, all of them sat around doing not very much when they should be breeding.

Sightings List:
Beacon Ponds: Common Tern, Dunlin, Redshank, Little Tern, Bar-tailed Godwit, Greenshank, Sandwich Tern, Black-headed Gull, Sanderling, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin, Golden Plover, Herring Gull, Common Gull,

Saturday 16th July
Today really was exciting, with a pretty impressive movement of Little Gulls over the ponds. In total 161 birds flew across the ponds to the Humber, mainly in flocks ranging from 20-50 birds. It really was quite impressive and nice to be sat on long bank just clicking them as they came through.
-Little Gull
Other species remained very much the same, although 5 Wigeon at the south end were obviously new. Now up to 3 Grey Herons are frequenting the ponds, and an adult Mediterranean Gull flew north. Dunlin numbers seemed to be down a little bit, with only 1500 coming in, but the tide was not as high and it is possible that they may have roosted in the spartina along the edge of the Humber instead.

Species List:
Beacon Ponds: Little Tern, Little Gull, Greenshank, Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Carrion Crow, Great Black-backed Gull, Linnet, Skylark, Reed Bunting, Bar-tailed Godwit, Yellow Wagtail, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Whimbrel, Redshank, Dunlin, Kestrel, Wigeon, Mediterranean Gull, Little Grebe, Cormorant,

Sunday 17th July
After the excitement of yesterdays little gull movement, it was perhaps surprising that not a single little gull was seen today. In fact today returned to the much quieter state of ponds, with not much actually happening. A Common Sandpiper was nice, and both Sanderling and Ringed Plover numbers seemed to have increased. 3 of the Grey Partridge family were also seen as I moved through the dunes to the hut.
Still, this will be the last time I get to do any proper birding up at ponds for a while, as I moved onto night shifts tonight. What a pleasant treat thats going to be.

Sightings List:
Beacon Ponds: Turnstone, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Barn Owl, Little Grebe, Bar-tailed Godwit, Sanderling, Arctic Tern, Ringed Plover, Grey Partridge, Whimbrel, Sandwich Tern, Redshank, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Reed Bunting,

Monday, 4 July 2016

Spurn Week 4

Monday 04 July
The wind of the last of the few days dropped for the morning at least, resulting in still and quite muggy warm conditions. Passage was all but dead, although there were a few Sand Martins moving through. I am no longer on mornings, much to the relief of my weary body. Somehow I managed 12 hours kip the previous night.
The best of numpties were a pair of juvenile Great-spotted Woodpeckers that were flitting between the fence posts. As passage was dead I headed out to clubleys field late morning to try and find some Red-veined Darters. I managed to find one but its red veins were not overly pronounced, leaving me with a few doubts initially, although it clearly is. There were also multiple Emperor, Four-spot Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer and Common Darter to enjoy.
-Great-spotted Woodpecker
-Red-veined Darter
-Emperor Dragonfly
In the afternoon I headed up to ponds. My shift now works with the high tide, allowing me to sift through the increasing numbers of waders, Tonight's count racked up; Dunlin 783, Redshank 78, Common Sandpiper 3, Knot 2, Greenshank 1 and Sanderling 1. The best birds were a group of 4 Common and 1 Arctic Tern that came through late evening.

Sightings List:
Numpties: Woodpigeon, Sandwich Tern, Common Scoter, Sand Martin, Swallow, House Martin, Swift, Black-headed Gull, Little Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Dunlin, Redshank, Curlew, Golden Plover, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Goldfinch, Linnet, Mallard, Gadwall, 
Beacon Ponds: Greenshank, Little Tern, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Wigeon, Great-crested Grebe, Dunlin, Redshank, Lapwing, Avocet, Cormorant, Sand Martin, Little Egret, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Knot, Sandwich Tern, Common Sandpiper, Kittiwake, Sanderling, Common Scoter, Guillemot, Gannet, Teal, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Tern, Arctic Tern

Tuesday 05 July
Another nice day with no stupidly early morning. I was down at the seawatching hut early morning for a few hours. There were a few bits and pieces moving on the sea, including 3 Manx Shearwaters and a few duck. The highlight of the duck was a Pochard that went north, possibly a Spurn tick for me, but I will have to check.
On my way to ponds I got the highlight of my day when I spotted a massive Grass Snake cross the path and go into the gabions on the other side. I had only seen its tail and figured that would be that. That being until its head emerged from the top of the gabion and sat there for about 10 seconds before slithering back into the grass. It was about a meter long and thick as rope, I had no idea they got that big. Since I was hardly expecting it I did not manage any photos, but trust me it was awesome.
Wader numbers had picked up again on ponds, with Dunlin numbers not at 1216, over 1000 for the first time this autumn. Redshank numbers had taken a slight dip, but Whimbrel had picked up. The cracking Red Knot was still there, and there were a couple of Greenshank too.

Sightings List:
Seawatching: Shoveler, Teal, Gadwall, Gannet, Red-throated Diver, Guillemot, Fulmar, Kittiwake, Sandwich Tern, Common Scoter, Curlew, Knot, Dunlin, Meadow Pipit, Puffin, Pochard, Manx Shearwater, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Little Tern, Woodpigeon, Magpie, 
Beacon Ponds: Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Whimbrel, Ringed Plover, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Common Scoter, Curlew, Redshank, Wigeon, Mallard, Common Tern, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Grey Plover, Knot, Little Egret, Linnet, Greenshank, Sand Martin, Barn Owl, Reed Bunting, Common Sandpiper, Common Gull, 

Wednesday 06 July
The vis-migging in the morning was very limited. We ended up not watching any birds on the sea to pass the time, and wrapped up by eleven. Since it was a nice day I headed onto Clubleys scrape but was unable to find any dragonflies other than Black-tailed Skimmers. I did however spot another Ruby-tailed Wasp that I was able to get a couple of photos of, maybe a bit of an improvement on my prior efforts.
-Ruby-tailed Wasp
Up at the ponds it was a very familiar affair on the bird front, but I was treated to something really special whilst on long-bank. I heard the Mallard family in the ditch go absolutely berserk, and given that an Otter has been in the area I immediately wondered if that might be the cause. I was thrilled to see that it was indeed the cause, but my views were only fleeting and no photos. All I managed was the back end of the body and tail as it swam into the reeds, but given I'm only the fourth person to have seen the animal in over 3 weeks that it has been present I am not complaining. What a treat!

Sightings List:
Seawatching: Gannet, Common Scoter, Teal, Sand Martin, Mistle Thrush, Cormorant, Swallow, Arctic Tern, Curlew, Pied Wagtail, Whimbrel, Redshank, Dunlin, Little Tern, 
Beacon Ponds: Oystercatcher, Greenshank, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Great-crested Grebe, Mallard, Ringed Plover, Reed Bunting, Carrion Crow, Redshank, Dunlin, Mute Swan, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Wigeon, Black-headed Gull, Pied Wagtail, Curlew, Common Snipe, 

Thursday 07th July
Numpties this morning finally had some real movement, with Swifts moving through all day. The final day total was 3480 but I had gone up to the ponds for the latter part of those numbers, I clocked out at around 2000. A handful of Sand Martin also went south, but not as many as previous days.
Up at the ponds the numbers of waders continued to increase. A lovely total of 780 Dunlin with a few additional species mixed in, including 117 Redshank, 9 Knot and one of each Godwit. Things looking up for wader passage.

Sightings List:
Numpties: Swift, Swallow, Sand Martin, House Martin, Gannet, Dunlin, Redshank, Whimbrel, Curlew, Golden Plover, Yellow Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Little Egret, Cormorant, Knot, Oystercatcher, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Arctic Tern, Carrion Crow, Sparrowhawk, Linnet, Goldfinch,
Beacon Ponds: Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Little Tern, Wigeon, Great-crested Grebe, Swift, Swallow, Cormorant, Mallard, Whimbrel, Curlew, Greylag Goose, Bar-tailed Godwit, Sanderling, Common Teal, Marsh Harrier, Sand Martin, Mediterranean Gull, Pied Wagtail, Mute Swan, Black-tailed Godwit, Knot, Common Tern, Lapwing, Redshank, Dunlin, Black-headed Gull, Greenshank,

Friday 08th July
A noticeably lighter Swift passage this morning, with only a steady trickle of birds moving. I gave swing netting a go with Paul to try and catch some but sadly I was far too inexperienced and kept swinging too early. That being said, we only really had a couple of birds to swing for, so its not like we missed out on much. Despite the slower stream, we managed to clock 1500 Swift and 1000 Sand Martin. Two Turnstone out over the sea were also nice.
Wader totals were slightly down at ponds, but it could be as I left the ponds before the high tide which was later in the evening. Still, a healthy count of 660 Dunlin with 60 Redshank and 4 Knot was not a bad count. A few wader continued moving back in as well, with 16 Whimbrel and 19 Black-tailed Godwit. 
-Common Lizard

Sightings List:
Numpties: Swift, Swallow, Sand Martin, Knot, Turnstone, Cuckoo, Kestrel, Goldfinch, Dunlin, Little Egret, Starling, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, Goldfinch, House Martin, Linnet, Redshank, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Whimbrel, Curlew,
Beacon Ponds: Whimbrel, Black-tailed Godwit, Oystercatcher, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Swift, Sand Martin, Swallow, Great-crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Skylark, Starling, Reed Bunting, Dunlin, Little Egret, Ringed Plover, Fulmar, Common Scoter, Greylag Goose, Redshank, Knot, Greenshank, 

Saturday 09th July
The Swift movement of the last few days really labored today, but still almost 1000 birds were reach by the end of the day, but that was over the entire day and I was only at numpties in the morning. There were a few Waders coming in though, especially Redshank landing on the Humber.
The ponds was very much the same, but now the tide times had changed such that I completely miss any birds coming in. However I did get a smashing compensation in the form of an adult Little-ringed Plover, my first adult and only second ever at Spurn. Cracking little thing, although always a bit distant unfortunately. A single Arctic Tern and Little Gull also added a nice bit of spice to a chilled out evening. 
-Little-ringed Plover

Sightings List:
Numpties: Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin, Yellow Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Redshank, Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwit, Knot, Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Curlew, Whimbrel, Mallard, Common Scoter, Gannet, Sandwich Tern, Goldfinch, Linnet, 
Beacon Ponds: Swift, Sand Martin, Little Egret, Little Tern, Arctic Tern, Common Tern, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Cormorant, Gannet, Mute Swan, Avocet, Bar-tailed Godwit, Swallow, Redshank, Dunlin, Little-ringed Plover, Grey Heron, Yellow Wagtail, Little Gull, Greenshank, Knot,

Sunday 10th July
A rough night in the pub meant no presence from me at Numpties in the morning, the world was still spinning somewhat when I woke up at 10.00. I did manage to recover somewhat for my time at ponds, but sadly there was nothing really worth recovering for. It was a very quiet evening to say the least. The best of it probably two Grey Plover coming in off.

Sightings List:
Beacon Ponds: Swift, Sand Martin, Little Egret, Little Tern, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Cormorant, Gannet, Mute Swan, Avocet, Swallow, Redshank, Dunlin, Little-ringed Plover, Grey Heron, Yellow Wagtail, Little Gull, Grey Plover, Greenshank