December is here. And whilst most birders brace themselves for the weariness of winter birding, at Spurn its seems things are only just kicking off. As it was on the first of December that Spurn finally got its new bird for 2017 when Jonnie found a LESSER YELLOWLEGS on the puddle in Northfield, the field two across from Churchfield. I was busy with the nets when the news was announced so was not able to stop and look at the bird for long, but in the afternoon once Paul and I had finished running our errands I went back for another look and was treated to some excellent views by this very smart bird. A very graceful bird; much more delicate than a redshank with spangled plumage like a wood sandpiper. An excellent way to kick off December!
The 29th was also an excellent day, but not on the bird front. Spurn awoke to a blanket of snow, the first time I have ever seen it at Spurn. It continued to snow throughout the day, but it was clear that it was not going to last, and by the following morning the vast majority had melted, with the remainder being little more than slush. Still, it was beautiful whilst it lasted, and it caused chaos among the local birds. I was not able to open the nets as a result of everything being so wet but I laid out a spiral trap as I had most mornings in an attempt to catch moorhen. It had an excellent day, catching three Pheasants (Including two at once), a Greenfinch, a Blue Tit and finally the Moorhen, although the bastard slipped out of the trap before I could catch it fully.
-A Snowy Obs
The weekend was taken up by a work party to repair the Churchfield paths. I was responsible for breaking up the large concrete slabs we had been left. It was a thankless job, but we had a few bits and pieces to entertain us whilst we worked, including a Woodcock and a few Snipe, as well as small flocks of Siskin overhead. On the Sunday we caught half the flock in the Heligoland trap, quite by chance, so got to ring 10 Siskin.
-Weekend Work Party
In addition to all that has been going on over the week we have had the nets open most days. A Bullfinch was nice, as was a Blackcap. A German ringed Blackbird was the first of the species that we have controlled this autumn and about time too. We also tried wader ringing, and although we did not catch anything, we did see the Scaup pair that have set up on Kilnsea Wetlands, along with hosts of Curlew, Redshank and Dunlin, as well as the odd Black-tailed Godwit mixed in for good measure.
-Sunset over the Humber
Spurn: Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Scaup, Whooper Swan, Mute Swan, Shelduck, Brent Goose, Water Rail, Moorhen, Coot, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Pheasant, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Golden Plover, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Knot, Dunlin, Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Common Snipe, Woodcock, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Tawny Owl, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Linnet, Lesser Redpoll,