Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Spurn Week 1

Spurn Day 1 - Wednesday 23rd August
Having earned a little money from my stint as a Bee-eater warden I decided to spent the rest of my year volunteering back at Spurn, whilst at the same time beginning to train to become a ringer. For my first day I was given a real treat in the Juvenile Rose-coloured Starling that had been found the previous weekend was still present and frequenting the feeders at Driftwood. The light was pretty awful but it’s still a decent Spurn tick. In the evening I headed down to the evening tern roost. It was a fairly healthy movement, but still not spectacular. There were over 4000 Common Terns plus a couple of Skuas and Manxies. All this and just in the first few hours, only at Spurn.
-Rose-coloured Starling
-Common Terns

Spurn Day 2 - Thursday 24th August
Sadly my first full day at Spurn was spent taking down the Little Tern electric fence. This is the worst job of the whole project, so it was a bummer to spent my first day doing it, but once it’s over then it’s not a concern until next year.
As a result I was only able to spent the evening birding. Instead of going down to the evening tern roost I decided to check the high tide roost on the wetlands. There were a few birds present, the standout of the waders being a nice Juv Little Stint, and a few very nice Ruff. A couple of Short-eared Owl were also quite nice, especially when it perched up near-ish to the hide.
-Short-eared Owl

Spurn Day 3 - Friday 25th August
In my quest to actually find something decent this autumn I decided to work the point as much as possible. It did not get off to an amazing start, with a Spotted Flycatcher about the best bird that I could muster. A couple of Whinchat and a single Wheatear made up the rest of the migrant contingent. It was a pleasant enough walk though, and something I am deffo looking forward to for the rest of the autumn.
Whilst I was down the point a couple of Great White Egrets had turned up on the Wetlands. Upon my return from the peninsula I headed straight off to see them. They were a little distant but I was able to get substantially better views than the last time I had seen this species at Spurn. In the afternoon we had something of a Spurn mega. Tim retrieved a Southern Hawker from the Heligoland trap in Churchfield. This is the first Spurn record since one in 2013, the latter was found by me and was probably my best find of that year.
-Great White Egret
-Southern Hawker

Spurn Day 4 - Saturday 26th August
Continuing with the theme of working the point as much as possible I headed down the point once again today. Sadly the species composition was much the same as the previous, although I expected nothing less. Once back north of the breach I spent the afternoon doing not very much. In the evening we had a BBQ for the birthday of a Spurn regular. Whilst not likely to be a birding hotspot on the face of it we did have a pretty sweet evening bird wise, with a number of Mediterranean Gulls flying over, a Hobby trying to take out Swallows and the Rose-coloured Starling which dropped into the bushes in Steves garden after spending an hour or so on show with the large Starling flock.

Spurn Day 5 - Sunday 27th August
After a late night of celebrating a Spurn birthday I was not quick off the mark in the morning. I spent the morning beginning my ringing work by handling my first birds. The vast majority of the birds we caught were Tree Sparrows, although I was also able to handle the only House Sparrow we caught. We added a Willow Warbler to our totals which was also nice, and even posed nicely for a few photos.
In the evening I did a walk around the ponds and wetlands, sadly not much was around although a Common Sandpiper was my first of the year. I also had a Short-eared Owl and a few more Willow Warblers. Ultimately though I failed to see anything overly unusual, besides the usual juvenile Rose-coloured Starling, which was still associating with the large Starling flock around Kilnsea.

Spurn Day 6 - Monday 28th August
The initial stages of my ringing training involved becoming comfortable handling birds. As a result I spent most of the morning in Churchfield hoping to catch some birds which I could then study and handle. Sadly birds were in very short supply and the only thing we caught was a single Willow Warbler. In the afternoon I was drafted in to cover the new Spurn shop outside the Obs. It was a pretty tedious task and there were sadly no birds involved at all.
-Willow Warbler

Spurn Day 7 - Tuesday 29th August
After a long and ultimately pointless day venturing into Hull, it was nice to return to Spurn to find that there had been an extremely light fall of migrants. I initially went hunting for the pied flycatchers in the crown car park but failed to connect. I then proceeded to work the canal but to no reward, despite an hour trying. Five Willow Warblers were all I could muster. I ended my search at the Warren where I worked with Kieran, watching him ring what little birds were being trapped. Just as we were wrapping up news came through that Paul had caught an Icterine Warbler. We headed up to see the bird in the hand. Sadly it was not a sitter, but I was able to get a few nice shots of it in the hand. A pretty sweet end to a rather uneventful day!
-Icterine Warbler

Species List:
Spurn Bird Obs: Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Gadwall, Brent Goose, Greylag Goose, Mute Swan, Red-throated Diver, Gannet, Manx Shearwater, Cormorant, Hobby, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Moorhen, Coot, Grey Heron, Great White Egret, Little Egret, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Knot, Sanderling, Dunlin, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Turnstone, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Curlew, Greenshank. Common Redshank, Ruff, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Black Tern, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Kittiwake, Little Gull, Arctic Skua, Great Skua, Woodpigeon, Collard Dove, Feral Pigeon, Short-eared Owl, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Whinchat, Stonechat, Robin, Pied Flycatcher, Wren, Dunnock, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Starling, Rose-coloured Starling, Magpie, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Migrant Hawker, Southern Hawker, Ruddy Darter, Common Darter, Common Emerald Damselfly, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Small Heath, Common Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Meadow Brown, Small White, Green-veined White, 

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