Absolutely no birding at all at Spurn today, as the entire day was spent on a trip to Scotland to see Brünnich’s Guillemot! What a bird that was!
After the long drive and stress mixed with elation yesterday, we were hardly busting a gut to get up this morning. Sadly this did cost us as a Richards pipit flew south as we were checking canal scrape. Once we arrived at Numpties there were still a few birds going south, a handful of Meadow Pipits and a couple of ducks on the sea.
Once it had dried up, which did not take long, we headed back to the Obs and continued our work on the garden. In the afternoon I headed off to Kilnsea wetlands to count the ducks and any waders. 119 Wigeon were the best of it, but sadly there were very few waders. A single Curlew Sandpiper came on and that was very nice but only a handful of Dunlin, a couple of Knot and Ruff and that was basically that. The roost reflected the level of the tide, which was very low.
Triangle: Common Scoter, Teal, Eider, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Moorhen, Little Grebe, Whinchat, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Carrion Crow, Little Egret, Dunlin, Arctic Skua, Common Gull, Cormorant, Brent Goose,
Kilnsea Wetlands: Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler, Pintail, Mallard, Mute Swan, Knot, Dunlin, Ruff, Redshank, Greenshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, Woodpigeon, Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Little Egret, Meadow Pipit, Carrion Crow,
The ongoing south-westerlies continued to bring good passage this morning. Over 2000 Meadow Pipits was by far the biggest count, but a number of Finches, Buntings and Wagtails were also on the move. The most unusual bird was a Great-spotted Woodpecker which went south high north, obviously saw the peninsula, didn’t like what it could see and decided to turn around and go back north. A more unusual vis-mig species…
The benefits of being at numpties means you can also watch the sea, and from there I got a Spurn tick, probably easiest to get Spurn tick. It was a Scaup Its also only the second time I have ever seen this species, although the circumstances are substantially different from last time. This time it was a female flying at sea with a flock of Common Scoter. The bird was distant but it was easy to tell what it was. A great addition to the yearlist and Spurn list!
Triangle: Common Snipe, Cormorant, Gannet, Scaup, Common Scoter, Greylag Goose, Pink-footed Goose, Mallard, Moorhen, Little Grebe, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Kestrel, Jackdaw, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin, Skylark, Peregrine, Marsh Harrier, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Reed Bunting, Great Tit, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Common Gull, Black-headed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Redshank, Curlew, Herring Gull, Blue Tit, Sparrowhawk,
I first went up to Kilnsea Wetlands in the morning in the hope of counting the Wigeon present. There had been good numbers of Pink-footed Geese going south and I was no surprised to find a flock of 60 on the Wetlands itself. There remained 131 Wigeon plus other duck species, and a Kingfisher flew through, which was a fantastic sight.
Next I cycled down to numpties where I was treated to a satisfying Vis-mig featuring more of the same species as previous days, but with a few Pink-footed Geese thrown in for good measure. The undoubted highlight came after I had just left numpties and was walking back along the road. A radio shoutout for Osprey came over the radio, coming south directly towards me. I picked it up with time to judge everything for when it came straight over my head, which it did. It gave some fantastic views and I managed to get some decent photos, only I had accidently altered the settings leaving me with some unwanted artistic wing-blur…
In the afternoon I went with Andy Roadhouse to deliver reports around Flamborough and Filey. We tried to twitch a bean goose but failed to connect but it was nice afternoon out, and we avoided missing anything at Spurn whilst saving the obs money on postage.
Kilnsea Wetlands: Wigeon, Teal, Pintail, Mallard, Mute Swan, Pink-footed Goose, Golden Plover, Curlew, Redshank, Dunlin, Knot, Grey Plover, Greenshank, Ruff, Kingfisher, Woodpigeon, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Starling, Lapwing,
Triangle: Chiffchaff, Long-tailed Tit, Starling, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Cormorant, Pink-footed Goose, Little Grebe, Moorhen, Mallard, Common Snipe, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Curlew, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Yellow Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Linnet, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow,
With so many birders on site today I decided it might be worth trying somewhere different, and by different I meant not numpties. I ended up at Beacon Ponds, as the birds on Wetlands had all been flushed there. The high tide roost was good, with over 1000 Dunlin and 500 Redshank, plus a Little Stint and a Curlew Sandpiper. On the duck front I had over 200 Wigeon for the first time this autumn and 16 Brent Geese. All good stuff.
Next I headed down to numpties but passage had largely dried up by then, only a handful of Tree Sparrows and Grey Wagtails. I decided to head off up to a new area around Easington and see what was around there. I did not see much, but missed another Richards pipit. As I was cycling back to the triangle in a futile attempt to catch up with it a radio message came out that a Crane was flying over Easington. I immediately stopped, found a place to set up and began scanning. It did not take long to pick up the Crane. Although distant there was no denying the identity of the bird, a smashing bird to add to my Spurn list. Sadly it kept on going through west and it was soon too far away. An unexpected bird for the day…
In the afternoon the wind finally changed from south-westerly into Northerly. Almost immediately the birds on the sea started to pick up so I headed down that way for possibly the best Seawatching session I have had all year. Highlights were a self-found Sabines Gull and Great-Northern Diver, the latter being a Spurn tick, and a fully Spooned adult Pomarine Skua. All cracking birds to add to the steady trickle of Sooty and Manx Shearwater, Arctic Skuas and Red-throated Divers. A fine end to the day!
Beacon Ponds: Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Redshank, Greenshank, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Grey Heron, Cormorant, Brent Goose, Wigeon, Mallard, Teal, Ringed Plover, Black-headed Gull, Little Egret, Curlew, Knot, Linnet, Reed Bunting, Turnstone, Lapwing, Little Grebe,
Triangle: Robin, Dunnock, Tree Sparrow, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Black-headed Gull, Long-tailed Tit, Arctic Skua, Greylag Goose, Pink-footed Goose, Mallard, Goldfinch, Linnet, Reed Bunting,
Seawatching: Arctic Skua, Pomarine Skua, Great Skua, Little Gull, Sabines Gull, Kittiwake, Red-throated Diver, Great-northern Diver, Manx Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Knot, Gannet, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Gull, Black-headed Gull,
Given the potential of the northerly winds that blew all night I arose early and headed down Seawatching in the hope of a petrel. Sadly, despite spending about 8 hours in Seawatching throughout the day I failed to get one. That being said, the Seawatching was exceptional until midday when it all but dried up.
The highlight was 128 Sooty Shearwaters all going north, some of them coming very close in shore and looking fantastic in great light. A Balearic Shearwater flew south too, which was a fine addition to the yearlist, my first since last year’s birds on Portland. Sadly though it was very distant, and there was some contention as to its identity, although from what I saw of it, there was no doubt and it was accepted as Balearic. An adult Pomarine Skua with full spoons also flew south, but sadly more distant than yesterdays, plus two Great Northern Divers, one of which was very close. Also a distant Long-tailed Skua went past, but it was hardly a highlight.
Away from the sea I only had a couple of hours, but in that time I managed to connect with 3 Yellow-browed Warblers of the small fall that occurred during the afternoon. I also managed to see some of the Redwings and Bramblings that had come in on this first wave of birds. Remarkably, Brambling was a Spurn tick, although possibly the easiest species that I still needed…
Seawatching: Manx Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Balearic Shearwater, Fulmar, Puffin, Razorbill, Guillemot, Gannet, Common Scoter, Teal, Wigeon, Arctic Skua, Pomarine Skua, Long-tailed Skua, Great Skua, Mute Swan, Red-throated Diver, Great-northern Diver, Kittiwake, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Oystercatcher, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Knot, Redwing, Meadow Pipit,
Triangle: Brambling, Redwing, Yellow-browed Warbler, Chiffchaff, Song Thrush, Brent Goose, Pink-footed Goose, Mallard, Kestrel, Goldcrest, Sparrowhawk, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Black-headed Gull, Grey Plover, Redshank, Dunlin, Knot, Golden Plover, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Magpie,