Sunday, 20 November 2016

Spurn Week 22

Spurn 14.11.2016
With the autumn continuing to slow down I had booked my interview at the passport office for today. As a result the day was spent out in Leeds doing odd bits and pieces and finally getting my passport. All in all a productive day if it did mean getting no birding done…

Spurn 15.11.2016
The autumn continues to draw to a close, with bird numbers dropping off daily. The bushes felt really quiet today, but I decided to make a real fist of it and see if I could find something. I first headed up round the Wetlands, Ponds and Beacon Lane followed by the Triangle and Canal. Variety was a little thin on the ground, with nothing really different being in the area. A small group of Black-tailed Godwits on the Humber was nice, and a flushed Woodcock flew straight at me whilst I was in the triangle.
After lunch things started to pick up a bit. I headed round Sammies point to have another look at the Richards Pipit at Long Bank Marsh, but on my way across I picked up a few skeins of Pink-footed Geese going south. In the end I probably had somewhere between 200-250 birds going south. It feels quite late for them to be moving, but perhaps this is the first really ideal conditions. Wildfowl was on the move generally, as I also picked up two flocks of Whoopers heading south when I went round Wetlands a second time.
-Pink-footed Geese
-Whooper Swans
The Richards Pipit was still present but continued to be mobile and not particularly easy to work with. I did manage to get a few more photos as it sat out in the open a bit, just a bit distant. Naturally though they continue to need work…
-Richards Pipit

Species List:
Kilnsea Wetlands, Beacon Ponds & Holderness Field: Gadwall, Greenshank, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Sparrowhawk, Little Grebe, Blackbird, Redwing, Snipe, Goldcrest, Greylag Goose, Whooper Swan, Redshank, Dunlin, Black-headed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Gull, Little Egret,
Beacon Lane & the Triangle: Little Grebe, Stonechat, Stock Dove, Black-tailed Godwit, Woodcock, Skylark, Moorhen, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Blackbird, Redwing, Robin, Reed Bunting, Wren, Skylark, Meadow Pipit,
Sammies Point & Long Bank Marsh: Pink-footed Goose, Shelduck, Lapwing, Peregrine, Kestrel, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Meadow Pipit, Richards Pipit, Redshank, Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Blackbird, Redwing, Reed Bunting, Robin, Wren, Carrion Crow, Magpie,

Spurn 16.11.2016
Another bright but breezy day to be out and about birding in the Spurn area. As my days here draw to a close, it makes you realise just how privileged I have been to spend the year here. I got up early and headed to wetlands for high tide, but the waders were already beginning to move off when I arrived there. Nothing much different from previous days; but still good numbers of wildfowl, plus a flyover Peregrine and at least 2 Black-tailed Godwits in the roost.
I made my way up Easington Lagoons, through Easington village and then down towards the riding school and Sammies point to make a circuit of my walk. Whilst passing Easington Lagoons John Hewitt announced over the radio that he’d had a ringtail harrier down the Humber, that looked like a Pallid but it had been lost over the Humber. I was a bit peeved to have missed the bird, but it going missing helped disperse thoughts of being gripped off. No matter anyway, as whilst on the beach I picked up the bird quartering the fields on the far side of long bank. Views were not exceptional, but I managed a few pics of the bird over Easington before it drifted further north and apparently out to sea.
-Pallid Harrier
On the rest of the walk there were a few nice bits but it felt generally quiet, with many of the October thrushes already gone. A couple of Kingfishers at Sammies was nice, flying fairly close in the ditch right below me. The Richards Pipit continued to be present in the field, but in blustery conditions it’s a wonder I saw it. The bird was clearly not inclined to fly and was keeping a low profile in the field, but a scanning with the scope through the grass I was surprised to pick out its head poking out from the grass. First time I got to see it through the scope, showing the facial markings much more clearly.
In the afternoon I went round the triangle but that produced absolutely nothing of note, or much at all really!

Species List:
Kilnsea Wetlands, Beacon Ponds & Easington Lagoons: Curlew, Redshank, Dunlin, Greenshank, Grey Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwit, Little Grebe, Teal, Wigeon, Mute Swan, Mallard, Greylag Goose, Pink-footed Goose, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Pallid Harrier, Peregrine, Pied Wagtail, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Linnet,
Easington & Sammies Point: Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Kingfisher, Richards Pipit, Lapwing, Little Egret, Brent Goose, Shelduck, Curlew, Redshank, Dunlin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Redwing, Blackbird, Pheasant, Collard Dove, Woodpigeon, Little Egret, Meadow Pipit,
Triangle: Shelduck, Brent Goose, Pink-footed Goose, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Blackbird, Redwing, Curlew, Little Grebe, Redshank, Dunlin,

Spurn 17.11.2016
The westerly wind greatly intensified today, making birding harder than it had been all autumn. At some points it was even difficult to stand up in. As per I headed round to the wetlands first thing to try and catch the high tide waders, but I was stunned to find no waders present, despite the tide still being high. It’s possible a predator or otherwise flushed them before I got there.
There remained decent numbers of wildfowl, but the overall totals had dropped from the previous day. Sadly though there was nothing different to the previous day. I finished off my walk by making a loop down Beacon Lane and the top road of the triangle, but saw very little. Once back at the obs I was not inclined to go out birding again, with the wind continuing to be extremely unpleasant.

Species List:
Kilnsea Wetlands: Gadwall, Teal, Wigeon, Mallard, Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Brent Goose, Little Grebe, Little Egret, Reed Bunting, Blackbird, Redshank, Curlew, Dunlin, Knot, Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Black-headed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling, Woodpigeon,  

Spurn 18.11.2016
Rather than waste time trying to bird in the howling gale, I headed straight down to the Seawatching hide in the morning. It was a good move, as there were good numbers of Swans and Pinkies moving. In total we logged 80+ Whooper Swans flying out at sea and a similar number of the Pink-footed Geese. A few divers also were on the move, and there was a drake Long-tailed Duck that flew south past fairly close in.
-Pink-footed Geese
-Whooper Swans
-Long-tailed Duck

Once Seawatching had dried up I spent the rest of the day doing odd bits in and around the Obs, the continued wind making birding extremely difficult and not much fun at all.

Species List:
Seawatching: Whooper Swan, Pink-footed Geese, Wigeon, Teal, Common Scoter, Red-throated Diver, Guillemot, Razorbill, Long-tailed Duck, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Great Black-backed Gull,

Spurn 19.11.2016
Continuing from yesterday, the wind remained extremely strong and difficult to bird. As a result I headed off down to numpties in the hope of a few birds moving past. A few swans and geese were on the move, with a few divers also thrown into the mix, including a few sat on the sea. On the whole though it was a fairly quiet affair! A few passerines were moving overhead, but not in any real numbers. As with previous days, the wind was making birding a bit of a challenge and most of my time was spent in the Obs.

Species List:
Numpties: Goldfinch, Siskin, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Linnet, Tree Sparrow, Pied Wagtail, Whooper Swan, Pink-footed Goose, Greylag Goose, Brent Goose, Meadow Pipit, Wigeon, Red-throated Diver, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Great Black-backed Gull,

Spurn 20.11.2016
Today was a complete write off as a result of the previous night’s celebrations of the autumn. As a result the entire day was spent in bed and no birds were seen today

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