Sunday, 28 August 2016

Spurn Week 11

Monday 22nd August
Having just got back from the Birdfair, I was hardly in a rush to get out of bed and go racing after birds. I got up at the delayed time of about 8, and then set off with Jonnie to go have a look round wetlands. Also immediately it became apparent that despite the winds having changed from east to west there was a massive fall of Willow Warblers. Every bush had a willow warbler in it and at gaps between vegetation they would build up. It was mental. In a loop around wetlands, beacon lane and Kilnsea we clicked 65, but there were so many more. The day total for the log was 350 but that was certainly an underestimate.
In between all the excitement of the Willow Warblers was the stunning array of juvenile waders on the wetlands. The east coast had seen a massive fall of Curlew Sandpipers over the weekend which I had missed due to Birdfair, but finally connected with four extremely smart juveniles today. Also on display were a handful of Black-tailed Godwits, a Wood Sandpiper and a really stunning Ruff. Probably the best Ruff I have ever seen, superb looking beast.
-Wood Sandpiper
-Curlew Sandpiper
-Black-tailed Godwit
In the afternoon we ended up sorting out the books from the Birdfair, so I did not get out birding. This was a shame as the peninsula looked really promising today, but alas it did not get done. Although it was a massive shame, it did mean that I was still north of the breach when the news of a Wryneck broke in the afternoon at Sandy Beaches Caravan Park. I steadily made my way over, but the bird was elusive and tricky, not easy to connect with at all. Still, it’s always a treat to see one, and it did not disappoint during the hour or so I spent watching it.

Sightings List:
Kilnsea & Beacon Lane: Pied Flycatcher, Willow Warbler, Mediterranean Gull, Ruff, Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Wood Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Spotted Flycatcher, Wheatear, Turnstone, Sanderling, Swift, Whinchat, Robin, Dunnock, Blue Tit, Starling, Swallow, Magpie, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Mute Swan, Turnstone, 

Tuesday 23rd August
Having been unable to do the point yesterday due to jobs that needed to be done, today I set that to rights and made my way down as soon as possible. Fortunately there had not been a big clearout of birds overnight. I was able to count 123 Willow Warblers down the point, an astonishing number and quite an experience. Between the lighthouse and the lifeboat cottages there were at least three birds in every bush. Fantastic! Other migrants were also lingering, including double figure counts of Whinchat, Wheatear and Spotted Flycatcher, plus Pied Flycatcher and Redstart. Painted Lady butterflies were also in abundance and I flushed a Grasshopper Warbler out of the grass at the north end of the peninsula.
The point was fantastic but left me feeling pretty tired out. As a result I didn’t exactly exert myself birding in the afternoon. I headed off to look at the Wryneck in Sandy Beaches. It showed nicely, but always obscured. We were able to get close to it, and I was able to coordinate the twitchers so as to not disturb the bird. I certainly improved on the photos I managed to get the day before, that’s for certain. In doing so I may have sat on an ants nest, which was a massive bummer.
On the way out we also called in to have a look at the Red-backed Shrike in Cornerfield, but it only showed for a minute or so whilst we were there. We were also looking directly into the sun, so it’s not like my experience with the bird will be long treasured as they often are with this species.  
In the evening book duty called again, but on the way up we were treated to a real spurn rarity in the form of a Budgie. It’s my first species for my Spurn escapes list, a fine species to get the list started. We have christened him Smuggler, an apt name we felt.

Sightings List:
Spurn Peninsula: Kestrel, Yellow Wagtail, Grasshopper Warbler, Whitethroat, Wheatear, Eider, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whinchat, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Sedge Warbler, Redstart, Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Common Sandpiper, Swallow, House Martin, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit,

Wednesday 24th August
With the easterlies now petering out Jonnie and I decided to continue with the trench for the Gas Combi Boiler at the observatory. However, when an Icterine Warbler turned up in the Obs garden we were also put on duty checking people for their being friends of Spurn when viewing. The warbler itself was initially elusive and hard work but as the day drew on it became a bit more showy. The wind did not help, as the willow trees which it was favouring were extremely mobile. Still, having visited the bird three times during the day, I did manage to get some photos that were reasonable.
In the evening after a day of trench digging I decided to head down to Seawatching. During the trench digging we were accompanied by Smuggler the Budgie for basically the whole time, offering some entertainment throughout.
-Icterine Warbler
Terns were once again very poor, but I had a smashing evening. I was scanning the horizon for something, anything really, when I picked up a small gull with extreme contrast in the ‘W’ markings in its wings. I immediately panicked knowing full well it was probably a Sabine’s. I called up the other birders in the hide to get on it, but in doing so I immediately lost it. I had to then explain what I’d seen to them, but it was a good three or four minutes before the bird was picked up again. The light was pretty funky but there was no doubt as to the birds’ identity. The same could not be said for its age. The bird was flying from us the whole time and so we could not get much on its head, but I could see no hood, suggesting it was a Juv. A cracking bird to add to the seawatch!

Species List:
Seawatching: Fulmar, Oystercatcher, Cormorant, Teal, Gannet, Knot, Sandwich Tern, Arctic Skua, Sabine’s Gull, Little Gull, Kittiwake, Common Tern,

Thursday 25th August
After yesterday’s successful seawatch I was keen to get down to the Warren fairly early. The numbers of birds were again quite low, but there was a healthy Teal movement (204 N) and a couple of Skuas. However, the undoubted highlights were three juvenile Black Terns that flew out north with the morning terns moving out into the North Sea. Having never seen a juvenile Black Tern before this was quite exciting.
I made my way up the Triangle towards the Obs and Wetlands. A smart female Merlin sat on a tree at the bottom of the canal was pretty fine. Up at the wetlands there remained one Wood Sandpiper, and it had been joined by a Spotted Redshank preening itself behind the main Redshank flock, meaning photos were all but out of the question. I also had a look at the Barred Warbler that had been found at the back of the pea field behind the hide. It showed nicely but only for a short while. I really wanted to see the Corn Bunting that had been frequenting the field but I was not able to pick it out.
That being until after lunch when doing some odd jobs for Rob at the Obs when a radio message came through about a photographed YB bunting in that same pea field. We headed on up, and spent about half an hour scanning the field. It soon became apparent though that the bird photographed was just a funny looking juv Corn Bunting. Disappointing obviously but Corn Bunting is my 228th species this year, meaning I have now broken last year’s total.
In the evening after continuing with the Odd jobs I headed off down to the Seawatching again. It was very much the same as the morning, although the black tern had been replaced by Little Gull. There was finally something of an evening tern passage with about 1500 going south. A juvenile Pomarine Skua also went south, adding to the excitement.

Species List:
Seawatching: Teal, Gannet, Shelduck, Common Scoter, Cormorant, Black Tern, Oystercatcher, Fulmar, Great Skua, Sandwich Tern, Arctic Skua, Sanderling, Common Tern,  Black-headed Gull
Kilnsea Wetlands: Willow Warbler, Redstart, Cuckoo, Wood Sandpiper, Dunlin, Spotted Redshank, Redshank, Knot, Ruff, Greenshank, Ringed Plover, Barred Warbler, Whinchat, Sparrowhawk, Reed Bunting, Woodpigeon, Yellow Wagtail, Corn Bunting,
Seawatching: Teal, Arctic Skua, Common Scoter, Oystercatcher, Fulmar, Gannet, Kittiwake, Arctic Tern, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Little Gull, Pomarine Skua, Red-throated Diver,

Friday 26th August
Started at Seawatching but again it was quiet leaving us with nothing really. I headed back up to the observatory with Jonnie, before we headed up to Kilnsea wetlands and Easington Straight. The Gulls on the straight were of the usual assortment, with mainly common species. A few Mediterranean Gulls were thrown in the mix including a cracking Juv.
Wetlands was also fairly quiet, it not being high tide. The superb juv Ruff was still there, a real beauty, and three juvenile Little Ringed Plovers, plus the regular Wood Sandpiper. No new waders but still a fantastic selection to say the least.

Species List:
Kilnsea Wetlands: Teal, Little Ringed Plover, Ruff, Mute Swan, Mallard, Wigeon, Sandwich Tern, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Redshank, Yellow Wagtail, Woodpigeon, Mediterranean Gull,

Saturday 27th August
Another day which promised much but delivered little. Seawatching was once again quiet but there were a couple of juvenile Pomarine Skuas that went north, so that was something at least. Once we had finished there, Jonnie and I headed up to Easington Straight to look at gulls, but sadly they were largely hiding behind a mound of earth. We did count Mediterranean Gulls though and we got a good count of 50.
In the afternoon we mainly spent around the Obs, doing odd jobs and just chilling. However, that all quickly changed when news came through of a first winter Caspian Gull on the wetlands. We drove up and got to see the most perfect form of Caspian Gull you can possibly get. My only other two sightings of this species pail into insignificance compared to this bird. It was prefect, the best you could have hoped for.
-Caspian Gull

Species List:
Seawatching: Pomarine Skua, Gannet, Teal, Fulmar, Great Black-backed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Oystercatcher, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern,
Kilnsea Wetlands: Caspian Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Redshank, Dunlin, Wood Sandpiper, Greenshank, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull,

Sunday 28th August
With a surprise BBQ planned for one of the Spurn regulars this evening I did not get to spend much time out birding. This was not a massive problem though as once again the weather that promised so much migrant fall disappointed. The best of it was a LT Skua on the sea but I was not watching when it went past, so missed it.
Birds I did see included Manx Shearwater and Sooty Shearwater as well as Arctic and Great Skuas. A Stint sp. flew north. A Little Stint seen on Holderness field was presumed to be the same bird. It was a nice enough way to spend the morning birding before I actually had to start doing stuff.

Species List:
Seawatching: Arctic Skua, Great Skua, Sandwich Tern, Manx Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Gannet, Fulmar, Great Black-backed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Oystercatcher, Little Stint,

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Spurn Week 10

Monday 15th August
No birding at all today. Having seen the forecast; Easterlies at the end of the week, we decided to was probably best to dig the trench required for the new Combi-Boiler at the Observatory. In the end it was a long days digging, and we were left knackered. So much so that the prospect of Seawatching in the evening did not tempt us, and instead we just crashed at the Obs.

Tuesday 16th August
Sadly the same as Monday, working the trench until it was done. It was not finished by the end of the day but good progress had been made, probably only another days digging at most before this job is over and done!

Wednesday 17th August
The first easterlies of the autumn, so there was much promise in the air. There was no rain or cloud overnight so I did not expect much,  but that soon changed as it became apparent that there were a few more common migrants around; Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, Lesser Whitethroat, and then the rarer stuff started dropping in, with an Icterine Warbler caught at the Warren. Sadly it was not a sitter, so I was not able to get any good photos, and the bird was not held long due to its obvious distress.
-Icterine Warbler
I headed on up to Sammies, as I feared it was an area that might not get done otherwise. Birds there were a little thin on the ground, but a Snipe and Green Sandpiper from the ditch were good to have, and a pair of Peregrine hunting over the Humber was pretty smart.
By early afternoon though I was back at the Obs and decided to have a nap. During said nap the radio crackled into life about an Ortolan Bunting in Cornerfield. I have possibly never moved so fast in all my life. But sadly when I got there it had dropped and not been relocated. After a short wait I decided to have a wander around the triangle to see if anything new had dropped in. It was when I was at the furthest distance I could have been from Cornerfield that it came across that the bunting was showing again. I could hardly muster the energy to run, so just steadily made my way round. When I was still a little way off Steve called me saying it was showing again so I ran up. The bird was still there, but somewhat tricky to connect with. It did sit out nicely for a short while and I would have been able to get some cracking phone-scoped shots, but sadly I had lent my scope to someone else and as a result I could only use my DSLR and so only got record shots. Still I’m happy with the results. It’s great to connect with one of these rapidly declining species, before the French eat them all.
-Ortolan Bunting
Evening Seawatching remained poor, as per the norm it seems these days. The best of it was a Puffin that went north, possibly the first Auk recorded during August.

Species List:
Triangle: Whinchat, Redstart, Icterine Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Grey Heron, Lesser Whitethroat, Little Grebe, Ortolan Bunting, Garden Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin, Starling, Mallard, Teal,
Sammies Point: Wheatear, Marsh Harrier, Peregrine, Sedge Warbler, Green Sandpiper, Snipe, Whinchat, Dunnock, Robin, Magpie, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull,
Seawatching: Puffin, Common Scoter, Gannet, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Shoveler, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Kittiwake,

Thursday 18th August
We were heading off to Birdfair at some point today, I knew that much. However, when exactly that was something of a mystery, and Tim was not overly keen to share such information. This was nothing to be complained at though, as the weather remained fantastic and there was every reason to stall going until the last possible moment.
The morning started as yesterday had finished: with good birds. The Barred Warbler that dropped into the net was a pretty sweet addition to my yearlist, and nothing to be sniffed at that’s for certain.
-Barred Warbler
However as the day drew on we decided to spend it around the Obs where possible to ensure that when Tim did eventually decide to leave we were ready. This paid off, as we did not miss anything via the radio. Or so it seemed until the moment when we had just driven out of the Spurn area on our way to Birdfair when news of a greenish warbler broke. We failed to get a signal so raced back but once back at Kilnsea I was able to pull up a report, showing it down the point. Sadly, we did not have time to chase it and as a result we had to let it slide…

Species List:
Triangle: Barred Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Yellow-legged Gull, Teal, Eider, Willow Warbler, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Swallow, Starling, Magpie, Carrion Crow,

Birdfair 19-21st August 
Birdfair was pretty amazing. Sadly I did not get any birding done, but it was not something I was massively choked up about. In the end I got to meet and talk to loads of great people, catch up with old friends and just generally have a pretty amazing time. Through working for Spurn I did not make it to many talks or go round the stands more than once, but it was not an issue. I had a fantastic time promoting Spurn and telling people how awesome it was. 

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Spurn Week 9

Monday 08th August
I arrived in the obs early afternoon to the news that a juvenile Spotted Redshank could be seen from the upstairs window of the obs. So I headed up to have a look at it before it flew off into the Humber. I headed out round the triangle for a walk but failed to see much, and the evening tern roost was quite limited.

Species List:
Triangle: Spotted Redshank, Redshank, Dunlin, Swallow, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Gannet, Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Magpie, Starling, House Sparrow, Little Egret, 

Tuesday 09th August
A fairly unproductive day as the weeks of nightshifts begin to catch up with me. In the end the only birding I actually did was the evening seawatch, although that was nothing to be sniffed at with my first Sooty Shearwaters of the year going north, fairly close in too. A couple of Arctic Skuas were also thrown into the mix to make light of what was a poor evening tern movement.

Species List:
Seawatching: Common Scoter, Gannet, Sooty Shearwater, Fulmar, Arctic Skua, Common Gull, Oystercatcher, Common Tern, Black-headed Gull, Sandwich Tern, Swallow, Woodpigeon, 

Wednesday 10th August
Finally the last two birds had fledged thus ending my weeks of night shifts and restoring me to something like normality. So today when I eventually got out of bed from my final night-shift I decided to head off down the canal to seawatching in the hope of maybe picking up some seabirds.
There was nothing down the canal and the sea was fairly quiet too, although there was a healthy number of Oystercatchers moving, with 200+ in the two hours that I was there for. The only other birds of note were two Arctic Skuas, but they were somewhat distant, which was a real shame.

Species List:
Seawatching: Knot, Oystercatcher, Gannet, Kittiwake, Arctic Skua, Common Scoter, Sanderling, Sandwich Tern, Whimbrel, Common Tern, Swallow, Woodpigeon, Herring Gull, Common Gull, 

Thursday 11th August
In trying to restore my sleeping pattern to something like normality I decided not to push myself but to get out of bed at a more reasonable 08.00. By that time news of the morning had been filtering through, and it appeared that the Wood Sandpiper was now back on the canal scrape. So thats where I headed first. The bird was indeed back and showing very well. Sadly the poorer weather conditions meant the light was rubbish but I still managed a few more photos of what has been a very obliging bird throughout its stay. Also of note on the scrape is a young Coot, which is a pretty unusual bird for Spurn.
-Wood Sandpiper
Once I had finished with the Sandpiper I headed down to seawatching for a bit. The birds were not really moving at all, only a handful of waders and a few duck. The only seabirds not Gannets were two Arctic Skuas, which were both closer than the previous days birds.
Up at the ponds in the afternoon for a couple of hours rewarded me with my first sight of the last two Little Tern chicks, a bit bigger than I expected but still looking a little young to be flying. Still, they look healthy, and no matter, they can fly so should soon be well on their way out of ponds. Other birds at the ponds were few and far between, but Kilnsea Wetlands was absolutely heaving with birds; mainly Common and Sandwich Terns, plus Black-headed and Mediterranean Gulls. Really quite impressive.
-Little Egret
-Terns and Gulls

Species List:
Triangle: Coot, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Wood Sandpiper, Golden Plover, Dunlin, Dunnock, Mallard, Swallow, House Martin, House Sparrow, Curlew, Magpie, Linnet, Starling, Little Grebe, Reed Warbler,
Seawatching: Arctic Skua, Eider, Common Scoter, Knot, Sanderling, Gannet, Sandwich Tern, Teal, Cormorant,
Kilnsea Wetlands and Beacon Ponds: Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Swallow, House Martin, Dunlin, Sanderling, Cormorant, Ringed Plover, Little-ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Greenshank, Little Tern, Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Mediterranean Gull, Little Egret, Black-headed Gull, Mallard, Teal, Arctic Skua, Skylark, Common Gull, Mute Swan, Herring Gull, Gannet, Kittiwake, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Little Gull, Turnstone, Swift,

Friday 12th August
This morning did not start well. I thought I had left my radio on overnight so anything stupidly early would wake me up. Turns out that was not the case, and as a result I did not see the bittern that landed on Canal Scrape at 5.00 in the morning. Most of the morning was spent waiting for its reappearance but no such thing happened. The Wood Sandpiper was still present though, as were a couple of Snipe.
-Wood Sandpiper
The day passed with still no sign of the bittern reappearing. In the evenings seawatch though there was something much better with the first major Tern movement of the year. 7370 Terns were clicked going to roost, the most by some distance this year and obviously really impressive to see. I always maintain that evening tern roost is the best thing I have seen at Spurn and to have gone a couple of years without a decent count has been extremely disappointing.

Species List:
Canal Scrape: Common Snipe, Mallard, Teal, Wood Sandpiper, Dunlin, Woodpigeon, Teal, Little Grebe, Meadow Pipit,
Seawatching: Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Sandwich Tern, Gannet, Common Scoter, Common Gull, Black-headed Gull, Arctic Skua, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull,

Saturday 13th August
The event of the day was a Wader ID course being run by the Obs. I decided to combine wader spotting with a couple of hours up at the ponds ensuring that the last couple of chicks were still Ok. There were not masses of Waders but there was a good variety around Ponds, Wetlands and Holderness field. As a result I understand the event was a success.
The best of the waders were the two juvenile Little Stints still on Holderness Field, but the Ruff were still on Wetlands (Looking amazing) and there were still a handful of Little Ringed Plover knocking about.
In the evening the tern roost nowhere near lived up to the excitement of last night, but a very distant Osprey was a much appreciated yeartick. That being said, it was so distant it could have been a Greater Black-back so far as I'm concerned...

Species List:
Kilnsea Wetlands, Beacon Ponds and Holderness Field: Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Mediterranean Gull, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Little Tern, Little Stint, Dunlin, Common Snipe, Turnstone, Knot, Wigeon, Sanderling, Mute Swan, Little Grebe, Greenshank, Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Mallard, Teal, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Great Black-backed Gull,
Seawatching: Osprey, Manx Shearwater, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Sandwich Tern, Fulmar, Common Scoter, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Oystercatcher, Knot, Dunlin, Arctic Skua

Sunday 14th August
Once again duty called upon me. Today was the day of the official launch of Andy Roadhouses book 'The Birds of Spurn'. A fantastic volume covering all the species ever seen at Spurn. But to make sure all the people coming the launch got the book they had ordered there was some setting up to do.
But before all that I got to settle a score with possibly my most missed species at Spurn. I was just getting dressed in the morning when a message came over the radio of a Treecreeper in the Obs garden. Having missed 4 at Spurn, it was well known my desire to see one, so Pete, who found it, specifically radioed me up. Withing a minuet I was alongside the birders watching it climb along the hawthorn hedge. About a hour later it was trapped and ringed at Kew, so I got to appreciate it out of the morning gloom as well.
It was a good day at Spurn overall too. As we were packing books news came over the radio of a Sabines Gull flying north. It had been picked up at Easington Caravan Site, so our chances were slim. As soon as news broke, all the birders raced to their vehicles. I jumped in with Tim and Jonnie. With an absurd amount of speed we made it up to the Gas Terminal. We jumped out and began scanning. We had overtaken the bird and Jonnie picked it up as it flew slowly past us. Slower birders kept arriving all the time but the bird continued north and soon it was not much more than a dot. A cracking bird.
-Sabines Gull
The book launch was extremely successful. Once it was over I headed up to the ponds to do a little shift with the Terns. Both chicks were still present and looking ready to leave at any point really. A Garganey on Kilnsea Wetlands was new, and somewhat unexpected for the day list.
In the evenings seawatch there continued to be hardly any terns, another disappointing evening on the whole. That being said, when you have a fully spooned Pomarine Skua going past, no matter what else flies past its got to be a success!

Species List:
Kilnsea Wetlands & Beacon Ponds: Garganey, Black-tailed Godwit, Wheatear, Sanderling, Little Tern, Common Tern, Dunlin, Redshank, Sandwich Tern, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Greenshank, Mallard, Mute Swan, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Teal, Wigeon, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Woodpigeon, Great Black-backed Gull,
Seawatching: Common Tern, Pomarine Skua, Arctic Skua, Common Scoter, Herring Gull ,Fulmar, Gannet, Sandwich Tern,

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Spurn Week 8

Monday 01st August
Happy Yorkshire day!!!
Sadly, see separate post, today was not actually spent in Yorkshire but in Suffolk, twitching a potential first for Britain in the form of the purple swamp chicken. There was not a great deal around early morning, the highlight probably being 14 Little Egrets all in a line behind the hut. I did not stay around long though, as we needed to get off to Suffolk and there was no sign of any threat to the Little Terns.

Species List:
Beacon Ponds: Little Egret, Dunlin, Skylark, Reed Bunting, Oystercatcher, Grey Heron, Redshank, Greenshank, Little Tern, Swallow,

Tuesday 02nd August
Unsurprisingly today was spent in recovery after yesterdays exhausting adventure. In the end I spent the day catching up with the blog, making sure it was all up to date. I headed up to the ponds early than usual to see what waders were about, and I was rewarded with two cracking summer plumaged Curlew Sandpipers among the overly abundant Dunlin present. I tried to get a photo but it was too dark.
-Curlew Sandpiper
Sadly my evening was badly punctuated by the fox, who made an impressive three appearances along the edge of the ponds. Fortunately it failed to get anything. I know this because on two occasions I found the oldest unfledged chick wandering around outside the fence. Both times I ushered it back into the electric fence enclosure and after the third time it clearly got the idea...

Species List:
Beacon Ponds: Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Knot, Redshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, Greenshank, Mallard, Grey Heron, Black-headed Gull, Little Egret, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Teal, Mute Swan, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern,

Wednesday 03rd August
In the morning the wader roost I had hoped for was cut short by a juvenile Peregrine. Before the birds all moved off I did connect with one of the smart Curlew Sandpipers from the previous night, a bird easily recognizable from its pale head.
Today was the day my parents were visiting Spurn. So of course it would be today that a bird I actually wanted to see would turn up. Wood Sandpiper on Canal Scrape according to Twitter. I grabbed my stuff and headed down before the parents arrived. When I got there Pete Kirby was already in the hide and he put me on the bird straight away, on a small island of chopped reeds nearer the far side of the bank. Ultimately I got to enjoy the bird for about half an hour before my parents arrived. The bird was a stunner, but I knew my best chance of a photo was to phonescope it, but the amount of vegetation obscuring the way meant I failed to get any really nice photos. However, its only my second time ever properly seeing this species, which are really beautiful, so I was pretty pleased I was able to connect before my parents arrived.
-Wood Sandpiper
With the parents we wandered down the beach from the Bluebell to the Seawatching hut. Along the way we had a few bits and pieces, mainly birds going south from the impressive wader passage during the afternoon: Dunlin, Sanderling and Whimbrel. There were also a few Swifts moving south, and a Merlin flew past as we were sat on the beach. A really pleasant afternoon in the end.

Species List:
Beacon Ponds: Peregrine, Dunlin, Knot, Redshank, Curlew Sandpiper, Shoveler, Mallard, Greenshank, Wigeon, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull,
Triangle: Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Redshank, Whimbrel, Dunlin, Sanderling, Wood Sandpiper, Merlin, Kestrel, Moorhen, Carrion Crow, Common Scoter, Sandwich Tern, Linnet, Ringed Plover, Common Gull, Common Tern, Magpie, Curlew, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Swift, Swallow, Sand Martin, 

Thursday 04th August
Once again, my hopes of a morning wader roost were left in tatters by the Peregrines. There were not many birds for them to terrorize, as the tides are now such that high tide has moved past when I'm at the ponds.
Once I had been shopping in the afternoon I headed back down to Canal Scrape to have a look at the Wood Sandpiper again, since it was still present. When I first arrived it was on the island where it had been before but after about 15mins it flew onto the near shore, until it was only a few feet from the hide. The only other of this species I have seen before did something very similar but I was left dissapointed with the photos I got. Despite the poor light, that was not the case today, as I managed to get a few reasonable shots of this simply superb looking bird.
-Wood Sandpiper

Species List:
Triangle: Teal, Mallard, Wood Sandpiper, Redshank, Curlew, Dunlin, Black-headed Gull, Little Grebe, Little Egret, Starling, Moorhen,

Friday 05th August
Crawling out of bed on Friday afternoon, I was hoping for some time to recover before setting off birding but that was something I was not allowed, as news came over the radio of a juvenile Caspian Gull at the warren. I jumped in John Hewitts car and we raced down. The bird was distant and through the heat haze the views were not excellent but the pale long head, and the long body shape was distinctive as a Caspian Gull. I only managed a couple of photos before it flew further out into the Humber never to be relocated.
-Caspian Gull
After that I headed back to Canal Scrape to have a look at the Wood Sandpiper again. It was not on the near shore so there was no point in trying to add to the photos I had already got of it, but it was cracking to see again.

Species List:
Triangle: Teal, Little Grebe, Starling, Dunlin, Redshank, Curlew, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Black-headed Gull, Caspian Gull, Wood Sandpiper, Mallard, Little Egret, Lesser Black-backed Gull,