Sunday, 13 November 2016

Spurn Week 21

Spurn 07.11.2016
With northerlies still the main wind on the agenda I decided to finally spend some time at the Seawatching hide. In the hour that I spent though, I missed basically everything that went past. The only time I got were four Snow Buntings flying north along the cliff top, and a few commoner seabirds.
I spent the most part of the day around the obs, trying to catch up on the odd jobs that had accumulated during October when I was too busy birding to be working. I did make one rush out of the garden when the Pallid Harrier from the day before was picked up flying south already at the Warren. We drove down in time to see it circling high above the breach, before seeing it slowly fly down the peninsula and then off the point towards Lincolnshire. It was always distant and against the light, so there was very little I picked up on it unfortunately, It’s just a good thing I connected with it well yesterday.
In the evening when we had all but wrapped up with work I went out again to have a look at a Water Rail that had been trapped in the Churchfield. It was obviously getting gloomy by this point which made taking photos a struggle, but it was a fantastic species to see in the hand, a cracking little bird. It was fairly placid in the hand, which was somewhat unexpected, I had thought it would be kicking and screaming!
-Water Rail

Species List:
Triangle: Wigeon, Pallid Harrier, Rock Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Mallard, Teal, Skylark, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Moorhen, Water Rail, Waxwing,

Spurn 08.11.2016
Again we spent all day working in the garden. We burned all the unusable wood from the shed, which helped take the edge off the first frost of the autumn. The only time I left the garden was for a grey phalarope but sadly it cleared off before I connected with it. However, dragging me away from the garden did bring me to a flock of four Waxwings sat in a tree just down the road, which looked absolutely stunning to say the least.

Species List:
Spurn Bird Observatory: Waxwing, Grey Wagtail, Greylag Goose, Robin, Fieldfare, Blackbird, Redwing, Goldcrest, Brent Goose, Mute Swan,

Spurn 09.11.2016
A bit of wasted day, but given it rained all day perhaps I have an excuse. Work started on the shed again, but the cold and persistent rain soon put pay to that idea. In the end, the day ended on something of a damp squib.

Spurn 10.11.2016
The ongoing shed project is doing a good job of keeping us busy. However, good progress was made and it looks like it will be wrapped up in the next few days freeing up more time for birding and other odd jobs
However I did get out birding a little bit today, namely a long overdue look for the Richards Pipit at long bank. Given its now in its fourth day present and it’s a lifer I should have probably gone earlier, but just chose not to. However, I finally cracked today and made my way up. It was only a short while in the area it was frequenting before I heard the diagnostic call, alerting me to the bird incoming. However, I was looking directly into the sun and it took a few heart stopping moments before I was able to connect the bird to the call. The bird’s silhouette was everything I had imagined it to be against the sun, looking more like wagtail than any species of pipit I have previously seen.
The bird landed in the field not too far in front of me. I dropped my bag to try and get the camera, but the next thing I knew was the bird was calling from the next field south. It took some time before it returned, following exactly the same pattern as before. This time I had my camera and eventually managed to grab some record shots. Sadly though, when it landed it did exactly the same as before, leaving after only a few seconds. In all I managed to get one acceptable photo of the bird…
-Richards Pipit

Species List:
Long Bank Marsh: Richards Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Starling, Skylark, Fieldfare, Redwing, Blackbird, Peregrine, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Wigeon, Mallard, Mute Swan, Knot, Grey Plover, Dunlin,

Spurn 11.11.2016
We spent the day burning off the excess wood from the garden livestock shed that we were stripping down. I did go out birding a bit, mainly round the triangle, but there was not much to see. A bit of viz-mig early morning soon died off leaving us only with what there was already present. A few Waxwings were undoubtedly the best of it, but even they were only flyovers as they headed north out of the area.

Species List:
Triangle: Waxwing, Blackbird, Redwing, Fieldfare, Shelduck, Mallard, Wigeon, Teal, Little Grebe, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Brent Goose, Meadow Pipit, Skylark,

Spurn 12.11.2016
Today was something of a write off given that it rained all day, not letting up until the evening. I decided to venture out into the downpour once, which was during mid-late morning in the hope of something dropping in. I made my way up round Kilnsea Wetlands and Beacon Ponds. The overall number of birds was quite low, with wildfowl moving about in the rain, the best I could manage for Wigeon was just over 150, but I did not count Holderness Field due as a result of a lack of effort on my behalf.
The undoubted highlight was a Black-throated Diver that flew in over the ponds before getting lost in the mist. When I first picked it up I thought it might be grebe, but when I saw clearly that it was a diver I made a move to photograph it, just putting it down as a red-throat. It was only when I came to do log that I thought to have another look, which is when my suspicions were aroused. Consulting with other birders the consensus was unanimous that it was indeed a Black-throated Diver.
-Black-throated Diver

Species List:
Kilnsea Wetlands & Beacon Ponds: Little Grebe, Black-throated Diver, Mallard, Wigeon, Teal, Mute Swan, Black-headed Gull, Reed Bunting, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull,

Spurn 13.11.2016
The weather was much improved on yesterday’s poor excuse and as a result I actually did get outside to do some proper birding. There was tree planting planned for the morning so as a result I headed up to Kilnsea Wetlands first thing. The numbers of birds was well down, but there were a few nice bits and pieces, namely a Brambling on the fence line and a Goldeneye female on the wetlands themselves.
Tree planting was done by lunchtime, being out and about at Spurn even whilst busy still brought out some good birds, including a Waxwing that flew over us whilst planting the trees. In the afternoon I went for a walk round the triangle, but sadly that was extremely unproductive and there was nothing of any particular note. A Merlin flying distantly down the Humber was probably the best of it, but it was so distant it hardly warrants a mention.

Species List:
Kilnsea Wetlands: Goldeneye, Starling, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Brambling, Reed Bunting, Wigeon, Mallard, Mute Swan, Teal, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow,

Triangle: Shelduck, Redshank, Knot, Dunlin, Turnstone, Curlew, Blackbird, Redwing, Robin, Dunnock, Reed Bunting, Waxwing, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Mallard, Mute Swan, Little Egret, 

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