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

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