Wednesday 13th September
The storm really hit us today. The rain that was forecast did not really materialise but the wind was extremely strong and meant an end to most forms of birding. The only real bird of note was the Long-billed Dowitcher, still present, which finally put in some time in front of the hide. I was finally able to get some decent shots of it, beyond my crap efforts from before.
Thursday 14th September
Once more the rain and wind meant no nets open once again. I headed down to Numpties to hopefully get some passage and Seawatching. Sadly it did not really materialise in that way, with not many birds moving and not really spending time looking at the sea. I did see two Long-tailed Skuas fly past, birds that were called up from the hide.
In the afternoon, with birding still looking off in the weather, I chose to have a nap. I had just woken up from my nap and was sat a little dazed in the cabin when I heard the distinctive whistle of a Yellow-browed Warbler. Jonnie was also there, but he had his headphones in and hadn’t heard it. I let him know, and seconds later the bird called again. Whilst I only saw it for a fraction of a second, it remained vocal. This is the first Yellow-browed Warbler at Spurn this autumn, my first contribution to the Spurn autumn.
Friday 15th September
After finally making a contribution to the Spurn autumn the following evening I was keen to get out and consolidate my efforts. Sadly it did not happen. The Yellow-browed from the previous day was now joined by a second bird, but all other arrivals seemed to be kept to a minimum. I tried to work the triangle, but quickly got disillusioned when there were no birds.
For the afternoon I headed up round Beacon Ponds and Kilnsea Wetlands, plus Easington Lagoons. Once again the birdlife was very limited, but a couple of Mediterranean Gulls were nice, and I got to inspect a small flock of Pink-footed Geese which had settled on Easington Straight. So not a complete loss for my efforts.
Saturday 16th September
With the weather far from ideal I was not able to go ringing with Paul, but instead spent the day working through typing up old log sheets. I nearly managed to clear an entire month of backlog. Despite the weather there was some arrival, and although I saw very little of it during my short between-showers walk round the canal, the undoubted highlight was a smart female Red-breasted Flycatcher that was trapped at the Warren late afternoon. A really smart bird and only the second time I’ve really got a good view of this species.
Sunday 17th September
I was expecting today to be something of a fairly slow day. Andy Roadhouses ashes were being scattered at the Numpties at lunchtime, and after that I expected to be in the pub for the afternoon. The morning did not quite transpire that way, as early on an Arctic Warbler was found in Easington. I grabbed a lift up and after a short wait I was finally able to end my long beef with this species, after my non-encounter in Norfolk some 6 years ago. The bird was not overly showy, but at certain points it would sit out in a tree which was bare of leaves, and on those occasions I was able to get nice and clear views. It was also very vocal, which was a cool feature to pick up on. The escape Ring-necked Parakeet from last November was also flying around.
After that I headed back to the Obs. I headed down to the Warren to see a Yellow-browed Warbler in the hand, the 201st ever rung at Spurn. It’s also the first one I’ve seen properly this autumn. I then worked the triangle but with nothing to show for it. After the scattering of Andy’s ashes I headed off to the Crown and spent the rest of the day in there. The only other bird I saw was a flyby Manx Shearwater on the Humber.
Monday 18th September
With the wind too strong, instead of ringing I spent the morning birding the triangle. I tried to stick to areas where people would be spending less time, and as a result I saw very few of the lingering goodies. A couple of Pied Flycatchers and a Yellow-browed Warbler were just about all I managed for my effort.
In the afternoon I cycled down to the point for a few hours down there trying to find something new, knowing that nobody had been down. Sadly it turned into a futile exercise, with only 3 Wheatears and a Lesser Whitethroat to show for my trouble. Still it was good to get out and back down the point after a week away during the howling westerlies.
Tuesday 19th September
After yesterdays limited success with the peninsula I decided to try it again today. Fortunately today was much better and I had a great time birding. In the end I had six Yellow-browed Warblers, although I only saw two of them, against a backdrop of migrating Pinkies. It was really pleasant birding, with a light scattering of Goldcrests, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers also present.
Spurn Bird Obs: Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Gadwall, Shoveler, Pintail, Pink-footed Goose, Brent Goose, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Red-throated Diver, Gannet, Manx Shearwater, Cormorant, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Moorhen, Coot, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Knot, Sanderling, Dunlin, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Turnstone, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Curlew, Greenshank. Common Redshank, Ruff, Long-billed Dowitcher, Common 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, Ring-necked Parakeet, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Whinchat, Stonechat, Robin, Redstart, Black Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher, Wren, Dunnock, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Arctic Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Starling, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Rook, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Migrant Hawker, Ruddy Darter, Common Darter, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White,