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Post Info TOPIC: Spurn


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Spurn


The forecast for easterly winds tempted me to Spurn today. Full day early morning to dusk. It didnt disappoint. No big falls and quiet for the commoner birds but some great rarities/scarcities.

80 species seen

Highlights:
1 Red-flanked Bluetail - Sammys Point
1 Red-breasted Flycatcher - 3 reported
1 Barred Warbler - 3 reported
1 Turtle Dove - my first UK one for many years
1 Leachs Petrel
1 Sooty Shearwater
1 Manx Shearwater
1 Great Skua
5 Arctic Skua
3 Red-throated Divers
1 Pectoral Sandpiper - Kilnsea Wetlands (photo)
2 Little Stint - Kilnsea Wetlands - (photo)
2 Pied Flycatcher - Sammys Point
1 Cettis Warbler - heard and seen- my first Spurn record
c120 Pink-footed Geese
1 Hobby - Kilnsea Wetlands
1 Barn Owl - Sammys Point
1 Peregrine - Sammys Point
2 Marsh Harrier - 1 over Humber, 1 over road near Hedon on way home
15+ Mediterranean Gulls
Sandwich Terns - quite a few around
2 Common Terns
3 Little Egret
Gannets in good numbers
Numerous Guillemots and Razobills

Ducks: Shelduck (large numbers),Common Scoter, Pintail, Wigeon, Teal

Other waders including: Big flocks of Golden Plover and Redshank , 2 Avocet, 2 Ruff, Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwits, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Knot, Dunlin, Curlew, Snipe
Lots of Swallows funnelled south along the peninsula

Missed: Yellow-browed Warbler (Easington - no time!), Sabines Gull, Velvet Scoter


-- Edited by Steven Nelson on Monday 18th of September 2023 12:00:13 AM

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Sun 4th June.
Early morning visit with a short window.

As predicted the Great Snipe had done a bunk.


The male Red-backed Shrike was a no show at the Warren as it had been caught and ringed minutes earlier so had probably gone into hiding for a while.

Highlights
- 2 Cuckoos from canal path
- 1 Little Stint bristly at Kilnsea Wetlands
- 3 Yellow Wagtails on approach to KW
- 2 Avocet KW
- Grey Plovers some in simmer plumage

Also..
- probable Marsh Warbler at top of canal path, whilst parking the car I could hear this lovely singing with a bit of Blackcap type sound mixed with melodic chatter so thats what I thought it was.

One bird that for now remains unidentified also at the end of the canal path looked initially like a large Warbler when it flew passed me but a couple of brief views suggested Chat type, a nice Hazel brown with pale breast, very skulks though and it disappeared. Couple of other birders got on it too but we were all unsure.



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My first ever June visit. Main purpose was to try to see the Great Snipe that had been seen on the previous two days.

Unfortunately, after being reported very early morning it wasnt seen all day despite a large group of birders present and the Spurn wardens using a thermal imaging camera to try to pick it out in the long grass - which they did successfully yesterday!

Generally very quiet all over but a few late migrants were seen.

Highlights were:
1 Pied Flycatcher - female
A few Singing Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler - Canal Zone
3 Wheatear
Good numbers of Ringed Plover and Dunlin on the Humber

Kilnsea Wetlands highlights:
1 White Wagtail
1 Whinchat - male
2 Wheatear
1 Knot - summer plumage
1 Sanderling - summer plumage
5 Avocet
1 Pochard - male
3 Sandwich Tern
Good numbers of Little and Common Tern in the colony
1 Sparrowhawk
4 Little Egret

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Bumper fall of migrant birds at Spurn, Yorkshire. 21/10/2022

  With all of the rare birds this autumn being found on places like Shetland, Scilly Isles & Ireland it felt that we had been starved of good birds during this exciting time. None of our team are what you may call chequebook birders (Having limitless money and time to twitch rare birds anywhere) So as we watched the weather patterns develop during this week, we decided that a trip to Spurn area was in order on Friday.

  A nice early start from Rochdale at 6am with Craig B, Kevin C & myself also picking up Dave W near Leeds, the weather was overcast with some rain. The M62 was busy at this time but as we got through Hull traffic became much lighter. First stop was Easington village to catch up with a species that used to be a great rarity, Red flanked Bluetail, it now occurs a little more regularly. It was soon located feeding on seed on the old school playground in the village, lovely bird to watch. Just around the corner on Vicar`s Lane near the high security fence of the gas terminal, was a typical species that had been blown over from Siberia, a Pallas`s Warbler. A very small green coloured bird with significant yellow markings, have always made this a much sought-after bird with the twitchers! Their size and speed of movement has always made them difficult to locate, but this one was calling and almost singing, after an hour I had failed to see it properly. Another one of the same species was about 150 yards away, so we went and saw it almost immediately, then of course walked back and saw the original one without any bother! Lots of Fieldfare & Redwing were passing over in large quantities also.

  In the trees near the Crown & Anchor pub we located the first of 3 Firecrest seen on the day along with a few Bramblings. Robins & Goldcrest seemed to be everywhere after the long journey they had just made, a possible Eastern race of Lesser Whitethroat, giving very close views was also watched as a Yellow browed Warbler dashed from tree to tree busily feeding. Next stop was the Canal Scrape where a Bobbing Jack Snipe was located as more thrushes passed through, real migration in front of our eyes taking place. Around an hour was spent watching a Firecrest at very close distance, what a lovely bird! A couple of Ring Ouzel then flew past the hide, news of an arrival of some Black Redstart`s meant a trip to Sandy Beaches to see them and 4 were seen, very smart birds. An Olive backed Pipit was being reported again in Easington Village, we went to have a look for it, but it proved very difficult apart from a brief glimpse as it fed in amongst the branches of a tree, they are usually ground feeders? A Common Redstart was also seen there, then it started raining and as it was nearly dark, we decided to end this fantastic rarity and migrant filled day`s birding. I reached home by 8-30pm, thanks to Craig B for driving. What a special day!

Dave O.



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The recent run of northerly winds had produced some good sea-watching conditions on the east coast in the last few days, in addition to a few good waders, so I decided on a trip to Spurn today. I knew conditions werent conducive for passerines and so I decided to focus my attention on the sea and the wetlands and estuary.

First stop was at Kilnsea Wetlands. Birds seen included:
1 Temmincks Stint - which flew off shortly afterwards
3 Curlew Sandpiper amongst the Dunlin
1 Avocet - with a limp
1 Ruff
Good numbers of Black-tailed Godwit
5 Spoonbills
16 Mediterranean Gulls in amongst the usual gulls
Numerous Common Gulls
Good numbers of duck - mostly Wigeon and Teal with smaller numbers of Pintail and Shoveler
(Unfortunately the long-staying Red-necked Phalarope had gone)

A 3 hour sea watch up to high tide produced:
2 Pomarine Skuas together - one grabbing a Gannet by the wing!
4 Arctic Skuas - 2 together plus 2 singles
2 Sooty Shearwater - distant
Good numbers of Red-throated Divers
2 flocks of Common Scoter
A few Teal
Plenty of Gannets, Kittiwakes, Guillemots and a few Terns
1 Wheatear in front of the sea-watching hide

A walk around the Triangle produced just 1 Chiffchaff !

The estuary had all the usual waders in good numbers with the pick being lots of Grey Plover and Bar-tailed Godwits - both with a number of birds still in summer plumage.

Canal Zone hide:
The Temmincks Stint was relocated and occasionally showed well at times but spent long periods in amongst the reeds.

Additional sightings from a second visit to Kilnsea Wetlands and Beacon Pond in the afternoon produced:
1 Little Stint
1 Ringed Plover
1 Sparrowhawk - a large juvenile female in hunting mode
50+ Greenfinch
7 House Martin and a few Swallows

A stop off at Stone Creek on the way home (a new site for me) proved very productive:
2 Peregrines
1 Buzzard
c90 Pink-footed Geese on the mudflats
Hundreds of Golden Plover
Loads of the usual waders and Shelducks
Lots of Little Egret

A good day despite being deathly quiet on the passerine front, but still managed 70 species. Hopefully Ill get another trip in later in the autumn.


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At last, if a little late for this season, and after what seems like constant westerlies this autumn, the promise of easterly winds tempted me over to Spurn today for my annual visit. Ive never been so late. Full day 8.00am - dark.
It seemed very quiet at first but still managed a few good birds.

Highlights:
Spurn and Kilnsea area:
1 Richards Pipit - Clubleys field
11 Snow Bunting - 2+9 at the Breach
13 Twite - at the Breach - flew in and landed in front of me as I watched the Snow Buntings
2 Brambling
4 Woodcock
60+ Siskin - including a 50+ flock over. Many more heard overhead but too high to see at times
A small influx of Redwings, Blackbirds and a few Fieldfare and Starlings during the early afternoon with newly arrived flocks dropping in from above.
1 Water Rail heard plus another picked up freshly dead on the road near Canal Zone
4 Red-throated Diver
3 Guillemot
1 Gannet
2 Eider
4 Common Scoter
3 Little Egret
All the usual waders in good numbers
1 Goldcrest !!!!

Kilnsea Wetlands:
1 Caspian Gull - 1st winter
1 Mediterranean Gull - 1st winter
3 Short-eared Owl - hunting at the same time
1 Little Owl - at the farm at dusk
c300+ Dark-belllied Brent Geese including a very pale leucistic bird.
1 Egyptian Goose
1 Little Egret
Plenty of the usual wildfowl and waders

Missed - Garganey (1 south past sea watching hide with a flock of Wigeon), Lapland Bunting (2 over south), Long-eared Owl (1 at the Point), Great Northern Diver, Hen Harrier (over south) and Ring Ouzel

62 species seen

-- Edited by Steven Nelson on Sunday 14th of November 2021 10:27:56 PM

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Stockport Birdwatching Society Trip report (with a couple of photos of the Two-barred Warbler);

https://stockportbirders.blogspot.com/2021/10/spurn-16th-october-2021.html


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Two-barred Greenish Warbler still present and giving some great views

Also 21 Whooper Swans and 6 Mediterranean Gulls on Kilnsea Wetlands

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Just to get it off my chest!!

Stockport Birdwatching Society took their annual pilgrimage to Spurn last Saturday (16th). Expectations were high, as they always are with Spurn in autumn.

The day was dreadful, no migrants, a total lack of birdlife (and that was walking 20,000 steps from Easington, up to the gas terminal, back down to Sammy's Point and then all of the Spurn area, apart from the point).

A single Chiffchaff and five Redwing were my highlight! (OK, slight exaggeration, Spotted Redshank, Mediterranean Gull, fly-by Red-throated Divers and Little Gull were decent). I missed the Snow Bunting as somebody had flushed it and the resident Bearded Tits didn't produce one "ping".

At 4pm we all got back on the coach for the return journey to Stockport. Shortly into the journey one of our members. Alan B. showed the photo of a mystery warbler on the back of his camera. Initial indications were that it was a Yellow-browed warbler and him, Glo and Pete W. (the finders) were heartily congratulated for finding the only decent rarity of the trip.

Twenty minutes passed and Spurn Bird Observatory posted a Two-barred Warbler had been identified. With people running up and down the aisle of the coach a quick cross check of the photo on Twitter with Alans, and a verification of both locations, and it was confirmed. Pete W, Alan and Glo had seen their first Two-barred Warbler, the first for Spurn and only the tenth record nationally (and they were likely to be the first viewers!).

To rub salt in the, very open, wounds they then informed me they had seen it 20 minutes after I had been chatting with them and I must have walked past the damn thing! OMG






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Two-barred Greenish Warbler at Spurn, Yorkshire. Sunday 17th October 2021

   Mid Saturday afternoon a visiting birder to the Spurn Point area had seen what he thought to be a Yellow-browed Warbler then, after taking some pictures of the bird, it became apparent, after looking at the photograph`s by expert`s, that the bird was indeed a Two-barred Greenish Warbler! About 20 or so birders managed to see the bird that afternoon.

   With all the members of our team never having seen this species in Britain an urgent plan was put together and an early start was planned. With Craig B driving, myself, Bob K & Kevin C we set off on a wet, gloomy, dark autumn morning. As daylight came the rain stopped and as we got nearly to Hull news that the warbler was still present cheered the mood up considerably. As we headed towards the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust/Canal scrape area a crowd of some 80 birders could be see filling the road and watching something in the surrounding bushes, was this the warbler? We quickly gathered our equipment together and joined the throng and had really good views of another rare warbler to our British shores. This little sprite should be safely on its way to winter in south East Asia by now probably having been born in Siberia this year. After 10 minutes or so the bird was lost to view and what followed was managing to get into a position to see the bird as the crowd swelled to around 150/200 birders. The warbler kept moving all around the various small trees and bushes and if you were in the right place at the right time allowed some really good observations. The rain then began to sweep in but after some sustenance, and a brief rest we went back out and really all enjoyed some great views of the bird, sometimes right above our heads! We had been in the area for around 6.5 hours and had met lots of birders that we had not seen for quite a number of years. By 4-00pm we decided to go Sammy`s Point to try to see some Short-eared Owl`s.

    With our own owl expert Bob K leading the way it was not long before I saw one take off and land in the next field. What a lovely bird to observe, then Bob found another two birds roosting in the paddock and giving really excellent opportunities for the photographers. A further 5 owls seen in flight being hassled by the local crows made a very healthy total of 8 Short-eared Owls seen on our visit. These birds have all just come over the sea from the continent to enjoy our Autumn/Winter, they were quite magnificent! It was going dark as we left the Spurn area having all had a new bird on our British list and having enjoyed a great day out.

Dave O.



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Saturday 18th-20th September.

Due to a cancelled trip to Mallorca we quickly decided Spurn was as good as anywhere so off we set at daft o'clock again. First stop Ferrybridge services not for a bird but a butty from Greggs then off we went again not taking the turn off for Blacktoft as this was left for Tuesday !

We landed at the car park got our gear together and off we set to the Canal Scrape and Hide, this was Caths day so I had to go along with her wishes. We sat down in the the hide and got straight onto three Water Rail, a great start then Teal, Snipe and Little Egret made up our numbers.

A short stop off at the Seawatching Hide did not produce anything of note, certainly no Skuas. We turned our attention to the Humber Estuary where there were lots of waders some of the Grey Plover and Knot still carrying summer plumage. We could not pick out the single Dotterel though.

Cath announced that we were to walk down to  Spurn Point which is a six mile walk there and back in memory of her dad who had never walked it there !!! Down at the Point we soon learned that there had been a Red-breasted Flycatcher seen just twenty minutes ago, so off went went to search around the picnic tables (not on the map) after a good hour with no joy apart from Chaffinch, Reed Bunting and a welcome Pied Flycatcher we set off back, the Red-breasted was seen again later in the day.

Kilnsea Wetlands and Hide was our next stop, well mine anyway, where after avoiding a packed hide I managed a single Spoonbill and plenty of Mediterranean Gulls plus the usuals. By this time we were shattered and headed for our digs and food (digs fine but food bloody awful) 

Sunday saw us tuck into a good breakfast (chef on holiday) cooked by the owner. My plan ( I was in charge today) was to walk the famous Triangle as many times as was required to find something good, off we set up the road towards the old Bluebell Cafe there was nothing of note but as we approached the Crown and Anchor pub a small car pulled up and told us a Red-backed Shrike was seen in Little Hedge (not on the map) so off we went walking by the Estuary. Arriving at Little Hedge which is now bigger than Big Hedge we are told it has not been seen since the first sighting. We along with lots of others wandered around the area as best we could but again no joy. By around noonish we set back off to walk the Triangle in the other direction, along the way we bumped into others and asked about the Shrike but again it was a blank. I then recognised  a young lass and asked her about the Shrike " oh yes it was right over my head near the ramp at the Information centre" we legged it over or actually just walked faster ! We managed to take up a good position looking across the hawthorn and willow scrub facing the Information centre after several minutes the Shrike was called as it flew across the scrub into another hawthorn, I managed a good look at its back as it flew across Cath just a glimpse, at least we saw it !

It was 13.45 and then the heavens opened we retreated back to the car for a brew and a kip (getting on a bit now) by 15.00ish the rain stopped and I set off for a better look at the Shrike if it was still there! After an hour, a nice Whinchat and getting peeved at people shouting there it is at everything that flew I had a wander about, Cath then text to say its just been seen again in the same place so off I go again and we stand around for another twenty minutes before my stomach tells me we are booked in for Sunday Lunch at the Crown and Anchor ( highly recommended it was brilliant and great service)

Monday morning we set off in search of breakfast in Withernsea as the chef is off at the digs, we find a cafe right on the front by a car park it will do for me and it was pretty good, a late return to Spurn saw us Seawatching we saw Common Scoter, Red-throated, Black-throated Diver and Razorbill but we again missed any Skuas. Heading back off to the Canal Scrape and Hide we picked up Spotted Flycatcher and Redstart. We managed to chat with the finder of the Shrike and decided to try and find it again as it had been seen again however we again dipped on a good sighting of the bird despite it showing a couple times.

17.00 hours arrived and saw us at Sammy's Point for hopefully a grand finale and by 17.20 we had three birds flying and then another and another, one bird flew low mocking a Common Buzzard that was on the ground eventually we had eight birds flying over and in front of us we stood and watched in awe what a perfect end to Spurn  eight Short-eared Owls.

We did off course miss some good stuff.. Ortolan Bunting, Isabelline Wheatear and Common Rosefinch to name a few

 



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Thursday 18 Aug, arrived at Easington 9 30 am walked around church didn't see,much at all,a further wandering along a local lane gave willow warbler a very yellowish individual at that,kestrel, pheasant, tree sparrow,linnet,swallow and house martin,a couple of hours here, then on to spurn to see what's what,tide well out lots of birds too distant but curlew ,dunlin,little egret,golden plover,sparrowhawk, kestrel, linnet, a couple of hours was the limit here as the tide was forecast highest before 5pm ,so off to kilnsea, this is a great place to visit,green sandpiper, ruff,black tailed godwit, dunlin,sandwich tern over,caspian gull,redshank, greenshank, greylag goose,common tern, usual selection of gulls ,mallard,teal ,gadwall, merlin, the stay was highlighted today as the stay was a bit longer and later, after about 6pm a wander about gave a little gull on beacon pond and a cracking display of two short eared owls mobbing a marsh harrier as it crossed their patch,later still a short eared owl passed only 40 yards away hunting, sparrowhawk with prey resting on a post ,as we left the car park a short eared owl was quartering the field opposite which was also showing, a real good day.



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First stop, kilnsea wetlands, high tide and very windy,lots of sandwich tern squeaking as they passed, little tern,green sandpiper, wood sandpiper, dunlin,knot,little ringed plover, little egret (20),spoonbill (3),Caspian gull,oystercatcher, kestrel, mallard,cormorant, black headed gull,starling, lesser black backed gull , great black backed gull,common tern, roseate tern,mute swan, herring gull, pied wagtail,grey plover , yellow wagtail,carrion crow ,redshank,beacon pond gave a turnstone to add but even windier here,whitethroat seen on the hedge by the footpath,plenty too of swift  ,swallow, house martin, sand martin over.   Spurn itself ,little tern,curlew,redshank, coot,carrion crow,kestrel,little ringed  plover,sandwich tern,golden plover, dunlin,black headed  gull, lesser black backed gull, herring gull,swift ,swallow on eggs in canal hide,little egret, swift,oystercatcher, swallow ,linnet,high wind here today, and low tide on my second visit made me realize the enormity of the mudflats available for feeding birds,as we left spurn a final visit to kilnsea showed a much quieter scene as i presume most of the birds were  now feeding on the mudflats, spoonbill feeding well here now, a great trip again over on the dark side ,will be back.......



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Friday 7th May.

Got called back into work this week and as usual I was pulling my hair out watching reports of good birds turn up whilst I couldnt do anything.
But I wasnt needed today so with a window of opportunity for a free morning I set off early hours to try for the showy male Golden Oriole, Ive only ever seen a female briefly in Cyprus and heard a male in Cornwall.
Unfortunately it did a bunk as I suspected, so the wait goes on!

Other birds of note...
- 1f Ring Ouzel (mobile between Warren + Canal)
- 1 Marsh Harrier (over Triangle + Seawatch)
- 1 Whooper Swan (near Wetlands car par)
- 1 Lesser Whitethroat (near Obs)
- 4 Wheatear (in Walker Butts Field)
- 1 Fieldfare (also in Walker Butts)
- 1 Yellow Wagtail (along Easinton straight)
- 1m Black Redstart (on hedge top, Easington)
- c20+ Whimbrel seen in different areas
- Lots of Grey Plover in summer plumage on Humber
- Plenty of showy Reed and Sedge Warbler

I had to chuckle at the Marsh Harrier sighting, when I first picked it up from canal path I wasnt sure what it was and neither were the other few Spurn regs I pointed it out to. It looked a bit like a Black Kite but it was bit distant. It flew over Bluebell and banked down towards the Seawatch Hide.
A bit later, one of the Seawatch lads arrived and said Black Kite was debated but in the end they settled on Marsh Harrier, and they had better views than us.
Just goes to show, these things are never easy, even for the more experienced regulars.



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A really good day at Spurn today:

Light drizzle when I arrived had the effect of grounding good numbers of birds, including a few flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing, finches and a Woodcock. Later the weather brightened up with pleasant sunshine which seemed to quieten things down, but did bring a decent arrival of Swallows and House Martins during the afternoon.
First, a quick stop at Kilnsea Wetlands car park on arrival saw a flock of 10 Whooper Swans which then promptly flew off. So, I headed into Kilnsea after a report of a Lapland Bunting near Cliff Farm. I didnt really get chance for a proper search when a report of a Red-flanked Bluetail near Rose Cottage just up the road had me scurrying there instead!
I saw it well a few times before it disappeared for most of the day. It reappeared late on in Church Field and was promptly caught and ringed and shown to a socially distanced crowd and then released.
Earlier a Pallass Warbler was ringed at the Warren and also shown to the crowd before being released never to be seen again. A short sea-watch afterwards didnt produce much.
As the sun came out I decided to get my bike out of the boot of the car and head down to the Point for only my second trip down there since the breach a few years ago. Highlights here were 3 Siberian Chiffchaff and a Black Redstart.
The back in Kilnsea, I finally caught up with a Firecrest in the churchyard and a Yellow-Browed Warbler showing well in the Crown & Anchor car park.
Late afternoon brought thousands of Starlings putting on a great spectacle and murmuration at Canal Zone and another Woodcock.

Summary of main highlights of my sightings:
1 Red-flanked Bluetail - only my second ever. - Kilnsea
1 Pallass Warbler - Warren
1 Firecrest - churchyard
3 Siberian Chiffchaff - Point dunes, including 2 together
A few regular Chiffchaff
1 Black Redstart- female type - Point
2 Woodcock
2 Brambling - my first ones this calendar year!
10 Whooper Swan
2 Greenshank plus the usual variety of waders
4 Common Scoter on R.Humber
Lots of Goldcrest all over
4 Blackcap- including one seen being ringed and released
Lesser Redpoll - good numbers
Swallow & House Martins- good numbers in afternoon
1 Little Grebe
4 Little Egret
Dark-bellied Brent Geese - flock a Chalk Bank
A few Pink-feet amongst Greylag flock.
1 Sparrowhawk
Starlings - thousands!!


64 species seen


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Thanks Steven

Red-throated Pipit, Red-flanked Bluetail and Red-breasted Flycatcher, in addition to the Common Rosefinch and Olive-backed Pipit that I mentioned earlier. A good day in anyones books.

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Mark you neednt had worried about the Great Snipe. It was later re-identified as a Common Snipe according to Birdguides.

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A bit of a quiet feel to Spurn yesterday, although there were still one or two decent birds around. Didnt arrive until 10.30 after a quick visit to see the continuing Hoopoe at Collingham, north east of Leeds.

The ones that got away were Siberian Chiffchaff which I didnt pursue anyway, Barred Warbler that failed to show for me after waiting for well over an hour and Great Snipe, superb find at the point after being flushed there. Ten years or so ago, I would have made the long trek but not now!

Still, there are always good birds to see in the area and I always finish off at the hide at Kilnsea Wetlands where the waders coming in to roost are always great to see. Of note :-

Little Grebe
Gannet
Brent Goose
Wigeon
Gadwall
Teal
Pintail (18)
Common Scoter
Ringed Plover
Grey Plover
Knot
Dunlin
Ruff
Black-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit (30)
Mediterranean Gull (24)
Swallow (c.10)
Rock Pipit (1)
Yellow-browed Warbler (1)

The easterly winds picked up slightly as the day wore on and with todays forecast of heavy rain, there was always chance of incoming specialities being grounded today. This morning there have already been reports of Common Rosefinch and Olive-backed Pipit.

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Spurn Weekend. 18/19/20th September 2020

Friday

  Our annual trip to the Easington, Kilnsea and Spurn area took place a little earlier due to, what seemed like migration taking place sooner? Our first call was to be at Sunk Island/ Stone Creek to visit John Ward who has been recording the birds at this location for many years (he also co-found Britain`s first Mugimaki Flycatcher) The tide was going out as we arrived and as the boys walked around myself and John had a good catch up. A Kingfisher flew past us and appeared to land close by. Masses of gulls, waders and a few egrets were observed in the hour we were there. Our friend from the Wirral Mark G had arrived at Spurn and we arranged to meet him near the sea watching hide, not much movement on the sea apart from: - 12 Red throated Divers (11 in one party) Teal, Wigeon, Common Scoter, 4 Sandwich Tern and the regular gulls. News of a Little Bunting having been trapped in Sykess Field came as a surprise and as Kevin C needed it for his British list, we all gathered pace to see the bird. It was released and sat out for all to admire this fairly rare bird on an adjacent barbed wire fence. At Kilnsea Wetlands we saw: - 2 Little Stint, lots of Dunlins but mainly about 20 Mediterranean Gulls coming into bathe, quite a sight! More news in the form of a Lapland Bunting on the concrete slipway at Beacon Ponds reached us, off we went and after a short wait the bird was seen. The Lapland Bunting performed really well at 10 feet distance allowing us all to get some nice pictures of it (yes even me). We headed for the Marquis of Granby in Easington for our two night stay and had our evening meal at the Crown & Anchor in Kilnsea that is now under new ownership.

Saturday

  Now I normally like to get up and get into the field nice and early but, with a sore hip I decided to rest a little longer in bed. A magnificent full English breakfast was enjoyed and then back to Sammy`s Point to catch up on the birds that I had missed. A few Pintail were seen on Kilnsea Wetlands but news of a Firecrest in Kew Villa had us heading for there. The Firecrest sat out for a few seconds bathed in sunshine (hopefully captured by ace photographer Craig B) and the bird had us all gasping at its real beauty. A Wood Warbler in St Helen`s churchyard was seen very actively chasing small prey items, a very well-marked bird. A walk around Church Field had us looking at a couple of Mealy/Common Redpoll in amongst a small flock of Lesser Redpoll. We had a look in the Canal Scrape and after locating a Common Snipe we were told that a Jack Snipe was sat very close to it. Mark G let us all see the Jack Snipe through his scope, thanks Mark. Towards the end of the day we enjoyed another look at some of today`s good birds e.g. Firecrest, Wood Warbler then we had a look down Vicar`s lane in Easington, but failed to locate the Hawfinch`s. We watched some football in the Marquis of Granby, a nice meal there and a couple of pints in The White Horse ended proceedings for the day.

Sunday

  A rather misty morning had us visiting Kew Villa, St Helens churchyard and we quickly managed to see 2 Brambling and a few Siskins, its taken myself until now to catch up with both these species this year! More great views of the Firecrest followed with Pied Flycatcher, Lesser and Common Whitethroat, Wood Warbler, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler. News of a Ring Ouzel along Peter Lane had us taking a look for it, without any success. Another look for the Yellow browed Warbler at Sammy`s Point was our next quest. Now as we waited patiently for the bird to appear in its chosen tree or clump, which it did not do in 2 hours, something unusual happened. This is not criticism of our fellow birders, as we all have to start somewhere but, when a couple of fully loaded gentlemen with the top optical and photographic gear miss identify 2 Chiffchaffs as 2 Yellow browed Warblers, surely there is a problem? I would have loved to have pointed this out but they were bigger than me, enough said about that then. We said goodbye to Mark G and left the Spurn area around 2-30pm with the intention to visit Southfield Reservoir to possibly see a Glossy Ibis that was there. As sleep had overcome our party we decided not to bother and reached home by 5pm having enjoyed a great trip.

P.S. If anyone reading this is a regular visitor to Spurn please join The Friends of Spurn its only £24  per year and you receive a brilliant yearly bird report and can visit all the great areas to see the birds

Dave O.

 

 



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Monday 21st Sept - 7.10am to 1.30pm

Our holiday to Lanzarote that was booked last year was cancelled couple of weeks ago so took advantage of time off work and Lucas in nursery.
Warm sunny weather. Met some nice people today as always and just to make it clear !!! I travelled on my own, wore a mask when appropriate, social distancing observed in all areas, rule of 6 observed at Church Field ringing station and the one hide I went in at Kilnsea Wetlands (KW) only 5 of us in there.

Arrived at KW 7.10am straight away got onto a bird flying over and 2 Waders from the car park viewing area.
- 1 Lapland Bunting flying over me calling
- 1 Little Stint
- 1 Pectoral Sandpiper
(Just thought it was a Dunlin at first but I soon realised it appeared a bit bulkier, legs were pale with a yellow tinge and then the sharp demarcation of the upper breast streaks)

Suddenly everything on the Wetlands was flushed as the black sheep herd came charging over, this coincided with news of a release at Church Field (CF)

- 1 Blyths Reed Warbler (in the hand & seen after release)
- 1 Yellow-browed Warbler (CF and entrance)
- 2 Brambling (at CF entrance)
- Hawfinch heard (behind ringing station)
- 1 Wood Warbler (showed well in Churchyard)
- 1 late Whimbrel (in North Field next to CF)
- 1 Barred Warbler (briefly in hedge opposite CF, disappeared over North field towards KW)

Another Blyth?s Reed (unringed) was claimed along the canal by a Spurn local, I stood with the observers present and we only managed 2 Eurasian Reed Warblers, the sighting was later changed by the original observer, that?s not to say he didn?t see one.
- 1 Yellow-browed Warbler at the north end of canal path with Goldcrests

Back to KW.
- 1 Little Bunting - Lifer (Listening Dish hedge)
(Brief clinching view with another observer. Small compact Bunting, partly silhouetted but some features still visible, short tail, wings drooping low, eye ring just about visible, straight culmen on the bill was obvious.
- 1 Twite (in the same hedge)
- 1 Willow Warbler (in same hedge)
- 1 Great Egret flew(in to Beacon Ponds but flew off again)
- lots of Mediterranean Gulls
- 5 Sandwich Terns over
- 2 more Little Stints
- 1 Yellow Wagtail over
- probable Lapland Bunting (with Meadow Pipits over)
- 1 Hobby over the car near Skeffling

Best of the rest included...
- 6 Black-tailed Godwits
- 1 Bar-tailed Godwit
- 1 Common Snipe
- Pink-footed Geese over
- Brent Geese + usual Spurn Wildfowl
- 10+ Stonechat
- Tree Sparrows
- Meadow Pipits
- 2 Goldcrests
- 100?s GoldenPlover
- 100?s Knot
- Dunlins (alpina race)

Of note...
- 1 Mealy Redpoll reported, I had a Lesser Redpoll same location / same time
- 1 Curlew Sandpiper reported with 2 Little Stints, myself + others could only see a Dunlin with them. Could?ve flown off in the 2 minutes it took to walk from the listening dish.
- adult Gannet wrecked at Beacon Ponds (been there a few days). Response from the Obs Twitter was if it was a juv then they?d take it in and give it a chance but as it?s an adult they haven?t got the facilities to take it in and will leave nature to take its course.
I was a bit bemused by that reply but there you go!





-- Edited by Rob Creek on Tuesday 22nd of September 2020 09:55:13 PM



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Monday 21st Sept

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Tuesday 22nd of September 2020 08:09:00 PM

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The forecast for easterly winds persuaded me to head over to Spurn today. The weather was sparkling sunshine and blue skies all day with blustery east winds. There were a variety of good birds reported around the area but it wasnt always easy catching up with them and I missed more than I saw! There werent large numbers of birds around, and at times it felt very quiet. The strong wind meant birds were often deep in cover, but the clear conditions probably meant lots of stuff just carried on inland instead of being grounded. Not a classic Spurn day for me even though the website will no doubt show otherwise ! - but I still had a good day overall.

My highlights were:

1 (possibly 2) Minke Whales - followed by a group of 5 Fulmar and surfaced for a few seconds

1 Barred Warbler- The Warren
1 Yellow-browed Warbler- Sammys Point
1 Jack Snipe- Canal Scrape
1 Common Snipe- Canal Scrape
1 Arctic Skua
1 Manx Shearwater
5 Fulmar - in a group over the Whale(s)
4 Sandwich Tern
A few Gannet - including 1 on Beacon Pond
Numerous Red-throated Diver
2 Pink-footed Geese
2 Redstart
3 Yellow Wagtail- 1 ad male + 2 juv - Sammys
1 Lesser Whitethroat
2 Common Whitethroat
1 Willow Warbler
2 Chiffchaff
2 Siskin
Small number of Swallow
Some large flocks of Linnet

Kilnsea Wetlands over high tide held a good variety including:
2 Curlew Sandpiper
2 Little Stint
4 Greenshank
1 Spotted Redshank
1 Wood Sandpiper
Lots of Redshank & Dunlin
Numerous Black & Bar Tailed Godwits
A few Grey Plovers
Numerous Mediterranean Gulls
A few Pintail
Flock of Wigeon

71 Species seen

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I was lucky enough to be at Spurn on Sunday 30th too, I saw that juvenile Long-tailed Skua that flew over the Triangle, thanks to the dumb luck of being stood next to a local guy who had a radio. We were on the canal path and we watched it off the Humber and away to sea.

Literally 5 minutes later a Wryneck appeared on the path in front of me! Not often that you see a small brown bird and when you get on it, instead of a Mipit or Reed Bunting, its a Wryneck! With that crazy spell on the canal and the male Red-backed Shrike and Barred Warbler and lots of other good birds, it was one of those classic days.

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Another good day at Spurn, Yorkshire. 30/8/2020

  With some good seabird passage having been reported from Spurn area during the week and with the winds being from a similar direction, we decided to take a trip there. We gathered at Newhey for a 6am start with Bob K in charge. We had been informed that the Long tailed Skua breeding season in Scandinavia had been a great success due to lots of Lemmings being present, which are the main food item of this species. A pleasant trip along the M62 soon had us arriving at Spurn at 8-15am, our first stop was the sea watching hide. Lots of birders surveying the waves and beyond, then as sightings were shouted out using the off shore wind farm towers as guides we managed to see: - Sooty Shearwater, Red throated Diver, Manx Shearwater, Arctic Skua, Long tailed Skua and lots of Gannets, gulls, terns and Common Scoters in an 1.5 hour seawatch.

   Then news reached us that a Barred Warbler was about 200 yards away, so we went to have a look at it. My knowledge about this species habits usually means that you have to wait quite a while for a glimpse of it as it is what we call a real skullker About 12 people stood around some low, quite sparse vegetation as we arrived, including Rossendale`s own Craig B who had found the bird, then just to prove me wrong the Barred Warbler was seen moving around, almost straight away! Thats a first I said, we all enjoyed lots of close views of this annual migrant warbler species until, news of a Wryneck in The Warren area. We headed off again and after a little wait the Wryneck was seen perched out on a convenient post, what a nice bird. A male Red backed Shrike had been found in the canal area and as Chris B had never seen one in this plumage we went for a look. The bird was a real beauty sat in a bush full of berry`s in the sunshine, what a gem. Steve B then told us that a Great Skua was flying over our heads, what a bird, then news that a Long tailed Skua was flying over the triangle was heard, but sadly not seen! Pausing to catch our breath, more news that another Wryneck had been found at the side of the road adjacent to the Canal Scrape. Upon arrival the bird was no more than 10 yards away and merrily catching ants with its incredibly long sticky tongue. Photographers clicked away merrily, some even lying in the road (none were injured during the birds stay by passing vehicles) The Wryneck performed beautifully for its admiring crowd, time for some food we all thought. A few pale bellied Brent Geese were then seen as if to remind us about the arrival of autumn, but its only August we all thought. We made our way to Kilnsea Wetlands and into the hide where lots of birds had begun to gather prior to the high tide. Mediterranean Gull, Little Gull, Sandwich Tern, Greylag Geese, Dunlin, Spotted Redshank, Redshank, Little Ringed Plover all being present as we wound down after a busy mornings birding. A White Stork had been in the Welwick area for a while (it is part of a release scheme) so as we headed towards home we thought we might try to catch up with it. After checking out a lot of the back roads north of the B1445 as far as Holmpton no sign of the bird could be found. We headed for home on an unusually quiet M62, another good days birding at Spurn.

Dave O.



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Spurn at its very best. Tuesday 11th August 2020

   After Monday`s news that a first year female Collared Flycatcher had been caught and rung at the warren at Spurn had got a few of us thinking and with easterly winds still blowing. Now as it would be a new bird for two of our group and that a good supporting cast of birds that were also present, a trip was organised. As I always seem to say about Spurn is that the day after the event, most birds seem to carry on with their migration overnight (I was too be proved wrong on this occasion). Its always important to get past the Leeds area as soon as possible during the week or you will suffer the worst traffic congestion, we managed this and passed through Hull without any problems. News that the Collared Flycatcher & Icterine Warbler were both still present was very welcome news!

   We headed straight for the warren where around 20 or so birders were gathered and when asked about both birds, the news was good. After around 10 minutes the well-marked female Collared Flycatcher was on show chasing and catching it favourite food items, quickly followed by a delightfully marked Icterine Warbler, what a great start to the day. A nice walk along the canal area soon had us all looking, albeit distantly, at 2 Red backed Shrikes both juvenile types. Whinchat, Meadow Pipit and Swallows all received a little attention from the shrikes, good to watch really. Again we moved on, this time to Kilnsea Wetlands, a little less busy after last weeks car accident. As the tide was in lots of birds were seen and we soon managed to locate: - 2 Little Stints, Pectoral Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, 2 Spoonbills, Mediterranean Gulls, Greenshank, Dunlin and a pleasing mixture of gulls and terns. In St Helen`s, Kilnsea churchyard another Icterine Warbler was seen along with a few Pied Flycatchers that seemed to be in every area that we visited, quite a major fall. A Common Redstart at Cliff Farm was also busy feeding and fluttering its rusty tail. We had managed to see all the main birds that we had come to see at Spurn, which is not a common thing to do, so it was time to have seconds at the Collared Flycatcher and the bird did not disappoint. After such a great days birding we decided that, as it was 2-30pm that we would head for home and avoid the rush hour traffic. Well we almost did, until we reached the Huddersfield area when the M62 ground to a halt, we managed to reach Rochdale by 5pm all of us having had a memorable day out.

Dave O.

 



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Ten Gull day at Spurn. Sunday 2nd July 2020

  After a Red Necked Phalarope and various waders were seen in the Kilnsea/Spurn area on Saturday we thought it was time for our first trip to the Spurn area this year. Two of our elder statesmen were missing for the trip so it was myself at the wheel with Chris B and Kevin C. We left Newhey at the leisurely time of 7-30am and by 8-45am we found out that the phalarope had gone. A mild westerly wind, with lots of sun didnt really make us feel that something good might be found though. At Kilnsea Wetlands throngs of waders were on show from the hide with: - 2-Curlew Sandpipers in partial moult, lots of Dunlin, Redshank, 2-Greenshank and Yellow Wagtails, various terns made a very pleasant hours birding. As we headed off towards Beacon Lane pools a loud noise was heard from the direction of the road, it looked like a car had crashed. With the subsequent arrival of some police, fire brigade and ambulance vehicles it proved to be a bad crash. On the way to the pools Chris B found what was an Essex Skipper butterfly, well found Chris! A Great White Egret on the pools along with a distant Ringed Plover and the nesting Little Tern colony at full swing being the highlights.

  Back on the carpark we had our lunch as lots of emergency crew milled around, the lady casualty was being made comfortable as the Air Ambulance helicopter landed on the road right in front of us. She was soon whisked off to hospital, we later found out that she didnt suffer any serious injuries. We headed to the warren area and had a sea watch, all of us sat in the sunshine, very pleasant but not many birds though. One highlight was two Oystercatchers together with a Whimbrel headed south close into the shoreline, not seen that before. Five Kittiwakes, Common Scoters, Gannets, terns and loafing gulls and a few more small flocks of Whimbrel made up a nice sea watch. We had been joined by a gentleman from Bury called Peter who as we exchanged names said that he read my reports and enjoyed them!

   We returned to Kilnsea Wetlands as the tide was coming in to find lots more gulls being present. A total on the day of 10 species of gull namely: - Mediterranean, Great Black Backed, Lesser Black Backed, Herring, Black Headed, Little, Common, Caspian and Yellow Legged (Kittiwakes on the sea) The identification of the Caspian Gull, which was a juvenile, took a little time as we pondered the various identification features!

Dave O.

 



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Sunday 3rd November.

As dave mentions in his post about the bluethroat it was caught & ringed around 8.15am & it wasn't good news for all & myself who turned up afterwards. I didn't hang around too long so decided to find out where it was released. I found out it was released back in its favoured spot north of the breach but flew further along into the sea buckthorn. I went back & metioned it to another chap who then told others, I decided to walk along the beach, which turned out to be a good thing as the bluethroat was flushed from the buckthorn & flew down onto the beach in full view but not long enough for me to get a photo, this was around 10.50am & was only seen another couple of times in flight. One swallow flew past heading south.
The pallas's warbler shown well on vicars lane but was always looking at it in the sun, also along vicars lane, a yellow-browed warbler & chiffchaff.
After looking through the brent geese & seeing the black brant I decided to take the long walk down to chalk bank to try for the Shorelarks there.
Another brief look for the bluethroat whilst passing the breach didn't pay off so I carried on walking. south of the breach I was told there was a snow bunting there, when I arrived in the area there was actually 5 snow buntings all feeding together which was nice.
3 Shorelarks where in front of the first hide at chalk bank but they were always in the grass so scope views had to be made.
Other birds seen thoughout the day...
Marsh harrier
Merlin
Sparrowhawk
Little owl
Stonechat
Short-eared owl
Gannet
Razorbill
Little egret
Rock pipit
Mediterranean gull
Siskin
Yellowhammer
Tree sparrow
Plus usual stuff
And 2 water rails from the canal scrape hide.
smile

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North Cave and Spurn area. 3/11/2019

   As we head ever closer towards the end of the autumn migration period it was nice to have, maybe, one last bash at Spurn. With the sad demise (no its not dead) of the putative Lesser Kestrel record put behind us another strange occurrence in the form of a Paddyfield Pipit was found at Sennen, Cornwall. No real takers for that one, so a trip to the east coast was made. Nearly a full team with Kevin at the helm had us heading towards North Cave in the hope that a rather smart Green winged Teal, male, was still present. Nice weather all day with early mist soon clearing as we headed for the Teal`s last known position. We went into Turret Hide to the news that the Green winged Teal was showing very well just 30 yards from us! We all had plenty of time to enjoy this beautifully plumaged duck, apart from when a Marsh Harrier sent all the birds into panic. Luckily it returned and allowed all to get some pictures.

   As we passed through Easington a few birders were seen along Vicar`s Lane, probably looking for yesterday`s Pallas`s Warbler? The regular Little Owl was seen on Giant Haystack on the way to Kilnsea. Our first call was to be at the area just north of the breach, when the news arrived that the bird had been caught and ringed, not good news, after a wander around that area no Bluethroat was found (I wonder why?) The news from Dave W that the Pallas`s Warbler had been refound on Vicar`s Lane had us soon on our way. The little sprite showed really well and was admired by the birders present, also a Yellow browed Warbler was seen. Back to a new hide for us all at Long Bank opposite the entrance to Kilnsea Wetlands to see a Black Brant, which is the American version of Brent Goose. The bird showed very well in amongst the dark bellied Brent Geese, Greylag Geese, Canada Geese, Curlews and Starlings. We searched the obs garden for another Yellow browed Warbler which with patience showed very well. Some Fieldfare, Redwing and a couple of Chiff-Chaff sat on top of the bushes in the sunlight was a nice sight to see. I had a little seawatch with: - 3 Red throated Divers, 10 Common Scoter, 6 Gannet, and 12 Wigeon seen. The lads told me about 2 Black Redstart at the seaward side of the caravan site. After I made a bit of a detour down Beacon Lane, I was able to enjoy these very popular migrants, who seem to like messy places, around all the caravan rubbish!

   We had a final call on Vicar`s Lane, Easington to see the Pallas`s Warbler again, but got distracted by another 2 Black Redstart`s in the gas terminal compound. As the light was beginning to fail we headed for home, another good day out. The Bluethroat returned to its spot at Spurn this morning (Monday)

Dave O.



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Sunday 27th October.

Early morning visit and back home for around 1pm.
A few good sightings were had but it I had some possibles too!

- Siberian Chiffchaff
I stopped off at Vicars Lane first and picked up on Chiffchaff type in the trees facing the power station and it was making a ?likely? call For this species (not a dead cert tho according to the book?). Didn?t get the best of views as it was always obscured. Possible!

- Little Bunting
Didn?t show as I?d hoped, but eventually I did have a candidate for it which was again obscured and soon flew off with some Reed Buntings towards the canal. I believe it wasn?t seen again until Monday with Reed Buntings. Again it was only a Possible!

- Common Buzzard
Thanks for your view on this one Ian.
A very pale individual flew in off the sea near Numpties, radio call went out as Rough-legged Buzzard, I thought it looked a good candidate as it did show upper side pro features in the white tail with dark terminal band, I think we can safely say it was a Possible at the time but it was reidentified as a Common Buzzard.

Other birds of note...(virtually all seen at Numpties)
- Rock Pipits coming in off the sea
- 1 Twite over (more seen at the breach)
- 17 Redpoll sp over
- 4 Yellowhammer
- 100+ Tree Sparrow
- 1 Mediterranean Gull
- 1 Merlin chasing a Rock Pipit
- 1 Peregrine
- 1 Sparrowhawk
- 2 Fieldfare
- small group of Redwing
- 2 Pink-footed Geese
- 20+ Brent Geese (Kilnsea)

Nice to see Danny Branch, not seen him in ages.



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Annual trip to Spurn, Wednesday afternoon in dry and fairly pleasant weather with SSW light winds, not recommended at all. We stayed over at the refurbished Crown and Anchor which can be recommended, nice rooms and good, hearty, cheap enough pub grub, nice hosts. Thursdays weather started off dull and dry but by early afternoon it started to rain and came on heavy and persistently all afternoon. We left at around 6.15pm.

The nice array of birds seen in the previous few days had departed due to the weather and a quiet feeling prevailed. We had two separate spells in the seawatching hide, a walk up Beacon Lane, some time around the Warren, half an hour in the Crown & Anchor car park, a walk around Sykes Field (we donated accordingly), longer than required in the YWT centre because of the rain, a prolonged spell in the Kilnsea Wetlands hide due to the rain and finally a quick visit to Sammys Point.

The highlight of the trip was undoubtedly the Little Bunting, still showing nicely down at the Warren since being trapped and ringed a couple of days earlier. Nothing too exciting other than that but still some decent enough birds to keep us entertained. As usual, its quite often being in the right place at the right time and we did miss three Shorelark beyond the breach and also five Shorelark that came in off the sea near the seawatching hide, half an hour or so before we got there. Of note :-

Red-throated Diver (7)
Little Grebe
Gannet (15)
Whooper Swan (c9)
Pink-footed Goose
Brent Goose
Wigeon
Teal
Shoveler
Common Scoter (1)
Sparrowhawk (1)
Merlin (1)
Red-legged Partridge (30)
Ringed Plover
Grey Plover
Knot
Sanderling
Dunlin
Bar-tailed Godwit (5)
Whimbrel (1)
Razorbill (25-30)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (1)
Skylark
Stonechat (1)
Redwing
Chiffchaff (4)
Goldcrest
Tree Sparrow
Siskin (c10)
Lesser Redpoll (4)
Little Bunting (1)




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Easington, Kilnsea & Spurn, Yorkshire. 20/10/2019

   After a rather hectic week, it was nice to visit one of our favourite birding places. We met at Newhey, in the dark, as the days/nights begin to draw in and with Bob K driving were soon on our way to the Spurn area. Last weeks Red eyed Vireo had been reported yesterday as still being down by the point, but no news about it meant having a good search around would be the order of the day. We started at Sammy`s Point on a dull and fresh morning with a few Redwing, Fieldfare being seen. I noticed a familiar bird perched up as I had walked on in the form of a female Ring Ouzel, but after a good search for the bird I was unable to get the rest of our team on to it. Mistle & Song Thrushes were also seen along with Chiffchaff Great Tit then I saw a warbler with a good eye stripe and what appeared to be orangey legs, despite a good search around it wasn`t seen again? A solitary Wheatear was found in the horse paddock but very little else.

    A couple of House Martins and a few Brambling were seen in the Beacon Lane area, we then checked out the sighting of a Hawfinch around the obs garden without any joy. A decision to have a seawatch proved to be a good one with Great, Arctic & Pomarine Skua being seen along with a few distant terns. Masses of Gannets were also passing mainly south with lots of juvenile types, it looks like they have had a good breeding season then. Various auks and an unknown shearwater also passed by during our time sea watching. A trip to the café on the caravan site again proved to be very popular with a warming drink and some sustenance. A call from Darren W telling us about a well-marked Long tailed Duck that was on Borrow Pit near the Blue Bell carpark soon had us enjoying this beautiful sea duck, thanks Darren. After the last two visits we have made to Spurn, we have decided to leave mid-afternoon and good birds have been found after our departure e.g. Great Snipe. So after a good days birding in the area another early departure was made, but this time nothing too exciting was found after we left!

Dave O.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Tuesday 22nd of October 2019 12:27:24 PM

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Mon 21st Oct 2019

Made my annual autumn jaunt to Spurn today. N/NE winds gave promise of some good sea-watching and the possibility of a few migrants. An early start saw me in the (full) seawatching hide for 8.15am. In a 2.5 hour seawatch a few good birds were seen:

Highlights:
20+ Little Auks
1 Sooty Shearwater
3 Arctic Skua
2 Great Skua
3 Eider
A few Red-throated Diver
Kittiwakes
Plenty of Ganne
many other Auks (mostly Guillimots)
A few Common Scoter

Most dramatic though was a Peregrine catching a Woodcock over the sea about 100 yards from the shore. The Peregrine then dropped the Woodcock that then fell into the sea. The Peregrine then swooped down amd picked the stricken Woodcock out of the sea but then dropped it a second time! Again, the Peregrine plucked the Woodcock out of the sea only to drop it again! The Woodcock then got swept into the breaking waves in the surf and lost to view. I don't think the Peregrine was able to retrieve it but I doubt the Woodcock survived. Dramatic stuff but brutal.

The rest of the day was spent around the Kilnsea area. Migrants weren't in big numbers and a strong breeze made them harder to find. However, the main highlights were:
1 Little Bunting - showing well at the helgoland trap at the Warren
3 Bearded Tit - Canal zone- heard and seen briefly
2-3 'Eastern' Lesser Whitethroat (1 at Crown & Anchor, 2 together at Cliff Farm (but 1 of these may have been the Crown & Anchor bird)
1 Redstart - male
2 Short-eared Owl ( 1 'in-off' the sea and 1that flew off the saltmarsh and out over the Humber)
1 Peregrine (imm)- Kilnsea Wetlands (perhaps the earlier bird?)
1 Woodcock (accidently flushed - this one obviously made it over the sea safely !)
1 Mediterranean Gull
3 Brambling
2 Yellowhammer
1 Treecreeper - Crown & Anchor carpark (only my 2nd ever record in Spurn area after 35+ years of visits!)
1 Great spotted Woodpecker - Crown & Anchor carpark
3 Stonechat
3 Whooper Swan - ( 1 + 2 south over the Warren very late afternoon)
40+ Dark-bellied Brent Geese
Flocks of Wigeon and Teal
Numerous Redwing
A few Fieldfare
A few Chiffchaffs
Numerous Goldcrests
Numerous Tree Sparrows and Goldfinches at the Warren
The supporting cast of usual Waders

Also - 1 Barn Owl hunting the roadside verge near Welwick on way home

Total 75 species seen

Mammal species also seen - 1 Porpoise, 1 Weasel, 1 Roe Deer



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Red Eyed Vireo in Easington, Yorkshire. 13/10/2019

   After a good influx of American bird species, no doubt caused by a recent hurricane, it came as no real surprise when a Red Eyed Vireo was found on Vicar`s Lane, Easington. The weather forecast for the east Yorkshire area was for constant rain for most of the early part of the day, so a few extra layers were added. With Kevin C at the wheel four of us set off at 6am. We were treated to a nice diversion through the city centre of Hull before reaching a wet Easington. Not as many vehicles as we had thought there would have been were on site. News that the bird was still present near the gas terminal car park on Vicar`s Lane also helped. After mingling with the 30 or so birder`s for about 20 minutes the bird showed itself really well right in front of us at 5 yards distance. It was a new species in Britain for Kev C but getting a picture might be a little bit trickier. After having seen a Red Eyed Vireo only on Scilly in 1985, 87 & 89 it was quite a thrill to see another on the mainland 30 years later. The bird`s feeding pattern allowed all birder`s to watch this American stunner around every 15 minutes. The rain finally soaked us and our equipment and a hasty retreat to the car was in order. Shall we stay or shall we go was on again and after a discussion a move was agreed (little did we know that a Great Snipe would be found much later in the day)

Dave O.



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Easingtons very own Red-eyed Vireo was still present and correct up until at least early afternoon yesterday. Still favouring its berry laden bush, it showed then disappeared four times in the one and a quarter hours that I was there. The light was always dull with drizzle and light rain although there were dry spells as well.



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With several days off and a planned trip away falling through I decided on a day out being a second best option, and it turned out pretty well really! I headed over to Spurn but a power cut at home and the alarm going off late didn't help! Then the M6 was a car park so I did 15mls in the first hour, not great. But I did eventually arrive.

First stop was Vicars Lane where I joined a throng of birders (I resisted the tabloid cliche of 'Flock of Twitchers' biggrin ) but no vireo. I only had to wait about 10mins though and the bird was picked up moving along in the willows further down the lane. It then moved along and finally flew down into its favoured berry tree and started feeding in full view, a superb Red-eyed Vireo, my 2nd in the UK. The papparazi blasted away as it carried on feeding oblivious to all the attention. Then it flew up into the adjacent oak where I got some shots that I liked better than my ones in the berries, they are different from everyone elses on facebook, that's why I prefer them (one attached). A Pied Flycatcher was in the same trees too to add to the bird list. After watching the vireo for a while it was down to the main Spurn area to carry on the day's birding.

Next stop was Kilnsea, and the Crown & Anchor car park. I walked in and immediately directions were shouted and I was on an Arctic Warbler that showed superbly well midway up in the trees by the car park. Again it showed out in the open for long periods but always on the move so digiscoping was impossible. Next I moved down to 'Corner Field' where I joined 3 other birders and we were soon watching a Yellow-browed Warbler, again showing very well in willows by the field along with a few Goldcrests. I moved around the field and saw at least 2 more Yellow-browed Warblers, one shoing low down in a dead umbellifer out in the open, superb, as well as more Goldcrests and 2+Chiffchaffs. Just as I was about to leave I had a phonecall from birding pal, Malc Curtin, to say that another bird we had been looking for had been found. Rushing back round the corner of the field I eventually got good views of the eastern race prob Turkestan Lesser Whitethroat, a race at the moment but maybe a future split (although I'm not holding my breath!). Overhead a Swallow and massive numbers of Redwings passed over whilst Linnets and Goldfinches were also in big numbers around the hedgerows.

Given the traffic over I decided that a great day had been had, no lifers but good birds, and I headed home relatively early. This proved to be a good decision with a much more relaxed and trouble-free drive!



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Sunday 13th October.

Red-eyed vireo ( lifer) showed very well on numerous occasions at the west end of vicars lane, easington, over 3 hours watching it in other locations but always coming down to a little berry tree which it seems to like where it then gives great views. In between when it wasn't in view I had a wonder up & down vicars lane which also produced.....
2 yellow-browed warblers
1 pied flycatcher
2 ring ouzels
Big numbers of siskin over & around the area.
Numerous brambling
1 blackcap
Several chiffchaff, goldcrest, redwing & swallows over.
Plenty of goldfinch, greenfinch, chaffinch, blackbird & usuals.

News of the great snipe got to me late as I was dordling around. I took my time to get to beacon lane & when I did arrive it had just it's head & bill on view whilst it sat there resting. I took a couple crappy shots whilst it was there. After 6pm myself & several others were still there when it eventually came out onto the path where it had a wing stretch & started to prod around a little, I couldn't get any shots of it in full view due to the very poor light so carried on watching it through my scope, another lifer.
Other birds whilst stood on beacon lane....
Jack snipe flew low past
Merlin
Peregrine falcon
Kestrel
15+ golden plover flying around the field
Numerous brambling & redwing.




-- Edited by steven burke on Tuesday 15th of October 2019 04:55:35 PM

-- Edited by steven burke on Tuesday 15th of October 2019 04:57:31 PM

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A Weekend in the Spurn Area. 4th to 6th October 2019

  After a years break from our annual trip to Spurn it was nice to have another get together and enjoy the birds. Bob K, Kev C and myself left a wet and windy Rochdale at 6am and Bob soon had us through all the regular bottlenecks on the M62. We arrived at our first call at Stone Creek, Sunk Island and met up with our old friend, John Ward who has been counting the birds that pass through this area for many years. Nice to have a good catch up with him about birding in general. We headed on towards Easington & Kilnsea calling at Sammy`s Point were a Merlin sat out for us, then a Great White Egret and Short Eared Owl where seen. We had a good look around for various Yellow Browed Warblers that had been reported without any luck. At Kilnsea wetlands a report of a Caspian Gull was next on our list, but upon arrival we were told that the bird had flown. At the Big Hedge Kev C finally caught up with his first Lapland Bunting, after finding it himself, well done! We headed for our accommodation in Easington at The Duke of Granby and met up with Billy J, followed by a good meal and a couple of beers.

   Saturday morning dawned and after a hearty breakfast we headed out to see what we could find. On Vicar`s Lane, Easington a Yellow Browed Warbler performed very well for us all and then news that a Barred Warbler had been located near the Spurn Observatory had us heading over to hopefully, see it. Quite a few birders were assembled looking over a gate into a fellow birders garden as we arrived. The owner allowed us into his garden and the usual views of a Barred Warbler were had (very brief as bird headed for cover) we headed away. Down Beacon lane an Eastern type Lesser Whitethroat was seen, then a great show was enjoyed when a Short Eared Owl was seen hunting. The owl seemed oblivious to our presence and passed low over our heads a couple of times, what a cracking bird! A Snow Bunting was being admired at the end of the lane on the sea cliffs and it showed really well as they usually do. A Jack Snipe was seen bobbing on the Canal Scrape and a few Redwings were seen passing through the area along with Song Thrush, Fieldfare and a few Swallows. At Kilnsea wetlands better news that the Caspian Gull was still present reached us, we met up with Martin Q and had a good look at the bird from firstly the hide and then from the upper gate. Lots of issues were raised but in the end everyone seemed happy with the gulls identification. We called in at the Sunny Beaches café for one of their famous sandwiches and a cup of tea and whilst we were there we saw: - Long Finned Pilot Whale, Great Skua, and Great Northern Diver (close inshore) Brent Geese. Afterwards another Yellow Browed Warbler was admired, then during a walk back towards the sea watching hide a beautiful Redstart was seen and a freshly arrived Redwing on the path in front of us. The bird did not have the energy to fly away from us after such a long journey, but after we gave it sometime it hopped into the grassy area to rest. Another nice meal and a few beers back at our accommodation followed, the news that Sunday`s weather would not be good dampened our hopes though.

     Sunday morning arrived and with it lots of rain, another nice breakfast then out birding. The Jack Snipe at Canal Scrape was really the only bird of note that we saw in the conditions. We headed for home at 11-30am having all enjoyed our time at Spurn!

Dave O.



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Trans Pennine Birding Day (or Booby prize). Sunday 1st September 2019

   Its never easy trying to get people to give up a nights sleep to drive overnight on the chance of seeing a Brown Booby (a flying one) near St Ives, Cornwall. After trying a few possible participants for the journey and not getting many positive answers it seemed that a rethink was necessary. Now as it turned out no positive sightings of the Booby on Sunday seemed to justify our decision. A trip to Spurn with Dave W and Rob from Huddersfield was planned with a meeting at 6-30am. First stop had to be the hide at Kilnsea Wetlands, high tide had been at 6-30am, so at 8-30am we still had lots of birds to see from the hide. After about an hour a small flock of waders flew in and one of them was the juvenile Dotterel, it didn`t stay long but close views were had. A few Curlew Sandpipers began moving towards the hide and showed really well, yes my camera was in the car because a telescope is more use really! After a little discomfort began to come over us all, we decided to have a walk to the car for some refreshment. Just as we began to eat our sandwiches news that the White-rumped Sandpiper had flown in and was showing really well almost in front of the hide, the shower of breadcrumbs soon had us all scurrying back to the hide. Now I have seen a few White-rumped Sandpiper`s but this was the best and closest yet. 15 quiet minutes soon past as the hide began to fill up when in walked Darren W and his team from the Leeds area, good to see you all again! We had a look at Beacon Ponds then returned to the car park to ponder our next move. At this point news of a possible Eastern Black-eared Wheatear or Pied Wheatear female at Fluke Hall, Pilling in Lancashire broke!

Dave O



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Sykes Field, Kilnsea & Beacon Lane, Spurn area. 25/8/2019

    After the birding slumbers of June and July it was good to get all the members of our little team together again for a trip to the east coast. All five of us met in Newhey at 6am and loaded ourselves into Bob K`s latest car, the day promised to be warm and sunny and away we went. Our target bird was the Marsh Warbler`s that have spent a while in the latest acquisition by the Friends of Spurn in Sykes Field (formerly Blue Bell Ponds Caravan site) Upon arrival two Yellow Wagtails showed very nicely on the car park and lots of Swallows, House and Sand Martin with a single Swift reminded us that migration time was here. We were directed to the right area to hopefully see the Marsh Warblers by a helpful birder and waited for them to show. After about an hour and a half, we managed to see Lesser Whitethroat, Willow and Sedge Warbler but there was a strange call coming from the reed fringed pool, what was it? Then an all too brief flight view of a warbler that flew from the area of the strange noises. Another visiting birder then said, The Marsh Warbler is showing on the fence We all enjoyed about 30 seconds as the bird sat out and showed really rather well, a new bird for one of our team!

    We all hurried along to the Kilnsea Wetlands and managed to get seats in the hide over the high tide period, plenty of Mediterranean Gulls, 6 Little Gulls, Sandwich and Common Terns, a good selection of waders with Spotted Redshank, Knot, Little Ringed Plover, Redshank, Greenshank, Avocet, Black tailed Godwit, Green Sandpiper and along with a heavily moulting Garganey it made it a very pleasant birdwatch. We all had a stroll down Beacon Lane and managed to locate about four Pied Flycatchers along with a decent number of Tree Sparrows. We also searched in vain for yesterday`s Clouded Yellow butterfly in Church Field but the amount of Painted Lady, Red Admiral we all saw was quite impressive as they fed up for their migration.

   All in all a very good days birding which was capped off with a pint at The Rams Head pub in Denshaw!

Dave O.



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Sunday 12th May.

Early morning visit to East Yorkshire with the hope of a couple of Lifers, but with a clear night I had a feeling it might not pan out, and I was right. The Brown Shrike had done a bunk from Hull, and the Collared Flycatcher had cleared off from Easington cemetery. Still, I had some decent stuff.
Nice to see Steven Higginbottom and co.

- 1 Wryneck
- 1 Hen Harrier ringtail
- 1 Montagues Harrier ringtail
- 1 Wood Sandpiper
- 10 Whimbrel
- 6 Black-tailed Godwit
- 2 Corn Bunting
- 1 Yellow Wagtail
- 4 Wheatear
- Yellowhammer
- 4 Lesser Whitethroat
- 10+ Common Whitethroat
- small number of Brent Geese
- plus usual supporting cast

A female Blue-headed Wagtail was reported early on in the hedges up near the Listening Dish, but I didnt end up going there because myself and 2 other birders from Staffordshire were in the new hide opposite Kilnsea Wetlands and we located an interesting Wagtail in the field.
It had a plain light olivey brown body, the head had a slate bluey grey hue, a definitive white eye stripe and what appeared to be a thin white throat patch. The heat haze and the poor light from the glaring sun didnt make for good viewing so we kept losing it. An arriving party of birders asked us what wed seen and suggested Dombrowskii but the 3 of us who saw it certainly werent going to call it from that. Ive since consulted Ian and the only thing I can confirm is that Im still not sure which subspecies it was.
Its probably the Blue-headed Wagtail.
I tried for another different view of the field near the hump bridge but no sooner had I tried finding the Wagtail, a ringtail Montagues Harrier cane flying over the fields so I watched that instead.

A cracking day!
smile

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Monday 13th of May 2019 07:20:12 AM

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Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th January.

Arrived at 09.30 after an early start and popped into the new Spurn Discovery Centre. Spoke to the wardens about the Shore Larks and any other interesting sightings - the information was gratefully received. Off we set towards the Easington Lagoon and decided to tackle it from the Kilnsea Hide. We arrived at the hide just as a warden was leaving.  He duly informed us that there was nothing showing from the hide and that the walk to the Lagoon was a good walk away and that the Larks had been seen ten minutes ago and it would be easier to drive further round. 

Ten minutes later we are looking across the small Lagoon with several other birders scanning waters edge and other likely spots. Twenty minutes went by to no avail apart from being told " you should have been here earlier, they were showing well" - not heard that before!

We had lots of time as we were here for a night and we had only been at the Lagoon for an hour, then out of the blue I picked up two small birds flying in and land somewhere on the right hand side then after more scanning finally the two birds came into scope. What an absolute delight to see this little pair of jewels. We spent twenty minutes just delighting our success sharing the scope with another birder.

After this we went off to Sammys Point in search of Snow Bunting however this was to draw a blank.

Finally off back to the Centre where the warden said that around three in the afternoon the Short Eared Owls could normally be seen hunting. We searched,scanned and panned the area for nearly two hours to no avail. We set off to our "digs" to freshen up and feed.

Sunday mornings hearty breakfast set us up nicely for the day when we expected the 40+mph winds to gather up along with some showers.

Several hours later after biting winds we called it a day, very few birds were showing around the area, lots of dunlin, redshank, curlew and brent geese along the shoreline, in total thirty five species recorded with the Shore Lark pair being the stars of the show.

As a point of information for anyone planning a visit, the Centre is great, car park costs £5 but you get a "free" drink in the cafe on production of a tear off voucher on the parking ticket.  We stayed at the Marquis of Granby in Easington which served a good evening meal and breakfast at a reasonable cost.

Happy Birding 



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Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th January.

Arrived at 09.30 after an early start and popped into the new Spurn Discovery Centre. Spoke to the wardens about the Shore Larks and any other interesting sightings - the information was gratefully received. Off we set towards the Easington Lagoon and decided to tackle it from the Kilnsea Hide. We arrived at the hide just as a warden was leaving.  He duly informed us that there was nothing showing from the hide and that the walk to the Lagoon was a good walk away and that the Larks had been seen ten minutes ago and it would be easier to drive further round. 

Ten minutes later we are looking across the small Lagoon with several other birders scanning waters edge and other likely spots. Twenty minutes went by to no avail apart from being told " you should have been here earlier, they were showing well" - not heard that before!

We had lots of time as we were here for a night and we had only been at the Lagoon for an hour, then out of the blue I picked up two small birds flying in and land somewhere on the right hand side then after more scanning finally the two birds came into scope. What an absolute delight to see this little pair of jewels. We spent twenty minutes just delighting our success sharing the scope with another birder.

After this we went off to Sammys Point in search of Snow Bunting however this was to draw a blank.

Finally off back to the Centre where the warden said that around three in the afternoon the Short Eared Owls could normally be seen hunting. We searched,scanned and panned the area for nearly two hours to no avail. We set off to our "digs" to freshen up and feed.

Sunday mornings hearty breakfast set us up nicely for the day when we expected the 40+mph winds to gather up along with some showers.

Several hours later after biting winds we called it a day, very few birds were showing around the area, lots of dunlin, redshank, curlew and brent geese along the shoreline, in total thirty five species recorded with the Shore Lark pair being the stars of the show.

As a point of information for anyone planning a visit, the Centre is great, car park costs £5 but you get a "free" drink in the cafe on production of a tear off voucher on the parking ticket.  We stayed at the Marquis of Granby in Easington which served a good evening meal and breakfast at a reasonable cost.

Happy Birding 



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From 11-16.30 today Kilnsea pools and up to Seawatching hide

Highlights: Barn Owl, 1+ Short Eared Owl, White Fronted Goose, 500+ Dark Bellied Brent Geese, 10 Red Throated Diver, Gullemot, Gannet, Greenshank, Sanderling, 20 Dunlin, 3 Goldeneye, Whooper Swan, 30 Lapwing, Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, 2 Common Scoter, Red Breated Merganser. Missed the 2 reported Shorelark.

Mammals included 3+ Harbour Porpoise, 2 Grey Seals, 3 Roe Deer, 2 Hare



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Went to Spurn on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week and also spent a bit of time at Scarborough Harbour. Arrived at Spurn midday on Tuesday to steady rain which continued all day. First stop was Easington where the Pallass Warbler gave good views together with a skulking Lesser Whitethroat. Two Whooper Swans were seen on Kilnsea Wetlands. In complete contrast to Stevens report below, the sea passage from the seawatching hide was paltry to say the least. The wind was coming from the north east and the rain was lashing in, soaking anyone daft enough to sit at the front. A lone Velvet Scoter and a Goosander were the only birds of note in a one hour watch. We retired to the B & B to dry off.

Thankfully, Wednesday started off dry and clear and stayed dry for the rest of the day. First stop was Easington Cemetary where we picked up the Siberian Chiffchaff which was showing well. A Waxwing flew in before departing almost immediately and unfortunately we missed an earlier seen Hawfinch. A Yellow browed Warbler was also showing well in the Crown and Anchor car park, a Black Redstart was seen on a dung heap close to Kilnsea Wetlands and a Long Eared Owl was noted nearby. Another sea watch from the hide proved disappointing before we then moved over to the riding stables area to eventually see a Great Grey Shrike. We arrived just after the bird had caught and killed a thrush before retiring to some thick, thorny bushes, we assumed to impale the poor thrush.

As we had missed one of our target birds, Little Auk, we then made the decision to drive up to Scarborough Harbour where six had been seen the previous day. It was starting to go dark but, thankfully, one was sighted after a fifteen minute search, outside of the harbour, three hundred yards or so north of the harbour wall. Whilst there, a Red throated Diver was added to the list.

A good trip despite Tuesdays wet weather. The birds we missed due to being in the wrong place at the wrong time included Shore Lark, Richards Pipit, Hawfinch and Arctic Redpoll.

Of note :-

Red throated Diver (1)
Whooper Swan (3)
Brent Goose
Common Scoter
Velvet Scoter (1)
Golden Plover
Grey Plover
Knot
Black-tailed Godwit
Little Auk (1)
Long-eared Owl (1)
Lesser Whitethroat (1)
Pallass Warbler (1)
Yellow-browed Warbler (1)
Siberian Chiffchaff (1)
Great Grey Shrike (1)



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Having done a bit of further research into Mealy and Arctic Redpolls on the back of yesterdays sightings, I am pretty certain I did see one of the Arctic Redpolls at Spurn yesterday. I was in the Church Field where the Arctic had been caught and ringed earlier. I was there late afternoon watching 4 of the Mealys at very close range. A few other Redpolls then flew from a hedge and quickly flew into cover before they could be properly scrutinised. But 1 bird stood out because of its large, bright white rump. They have published a couple of photos of the bird on the Spurn sightings website. Whilst I know some Mealys can show some white on the rump (and a couple of the Mealys I was watching certainly had some white on the rump) it seemed much more extensive and bright on this bird and thats what caught my attention - a feature clearly seen in the photos. I will still have to put it down as a probable as I cant be 100% certain due to the fleeting view. Also up to that point the bird hadnt been seen for couple of hours prior to my sighting but that doesnt mean it wasnt still around.

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The promise of NE winds and some great sea-watching records over the last few days enticed me to get up early and make my annual pilgrimage to Spurn today. With the clocks going back last night meaning that it would get light an hour earlier than yesterday I decided to set off at 5.00am aiming to arrive at Spurn at c.7.30am. Once into East Yorkshire, as the daylight dawned, a number of huge Starling flocks filled the sky around the Humber near the bridge - presumably leaving their roost somewhere nearby.
Just before I got to Patrington village a bit more excitement as a Hooded Crow flew low over the road in front of me with a small group of Carrion Crows!
I arrived at Spurn at 7.30am and decided to head straight to the sea watching hide. As I got out of the car 2 Pomarine Skuas (lifer!)were circling high above me before heading up the Humber! When I got to the hide it was already full with a further 15 or so people outside! They had already had a number of good birds past.
I spent about 2 hours of fantastic sea watching most things heading north. Lots more Pomarine Skuas including an adult with full spoons, a few Bonxies and Arctic Skuas sometimes in small mixed groups allowing some good comparisons to be made. Other birds passing: Little Auks in good numbers, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Great Northern Diver, a few Red Throated Divers, a possible Black Throated Diver, 1 Long- tailed Duck male, lots of Kittiwakes, Gannets, Common Scoters, a few groups of Eiders, Little Gulls and Guillimots. 2 Hooded Crows were picked up at the Triangle and headed S then turned back north flying in front of the sea watching hide. Flocks of Redwing, Starling and Skylark were watched coming in-off along with 3 Short-eared Owls. We also witnessed 2 Pom Skuas chasing down (and we think capturing) a passerine distantly above the sea!

Other good birds seen in the area:
1 Barred Warbler- great views in Crown and Anchor carpark
1 Yellow-browed Warbler (Crown and Anchor)
1 Black Redstart - Sandy Beaches caravan site
c.6 Mealy Redpoll- great close views Church Field
1 Eastern Lesser Whitethroat - great close views
2 Little Auk above me flying over from the Humber to the sea.
4 Woodcock
1 Brambling
5 Dark-bellied Brent Geese
Good numbers of Redwing, Blackbird a few Fieldfare.
Goldcrests - plenty!
1 Blackcap - female
8 Chiffchaff
Another Short-eared Owl!
Some big Wader flocks including a large flock of Knot that flew just a feet above my head!

Unfortunately missed the 2 Arctic Redpolls, Firecrest, Leachs and Storm Petrels, Long-eared Owl and Grey Phalarope!

But managed 73 species. A great day of migration.

-- Edited by Steven Nelson on Monday 29th of October 2018 12:18:03 AM

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Highlights from today

Yellow-browed Warbler 2, 1 in Easington Cemetry and 1 in Canal scrape car park bushes
Snow Bunting 2 at the breach
Red-flanked Bluetail, relocated at Potato fields
Brambling 3, first of the Autumn
Redwing 3, first of the Autumn
Jack Snipe, canal scrape
Rose coloured Starling along the canal
Curlew Sandpiper canal scrape

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Sunday 15th July.

- Greater Sand Plover (Lifer)

Wanted one of these in Cyprus as I'd heard there were a few still knocking around the Paphos headland but I couldn't find any, so I chanced on an early morning dash to Kilnsea Wetlands arriving around 8.20am.
I was greeted by the news that the bird was still showing so I made my way up to the beach near Beacon Ponds, but I was gutted when I got there to be told a Peregrine had been through, took a Ringed Plover, and sent most of the birds south passed The Breach.
Birders searched the whole area but no news came back for ages. My phone signal wasn't good but approx 10am news broke it was seen near the Narrows so a few of us headed off but we hadn't even reached the Bluebell when birders were coming towards us saying it's flown north. Unbelievable!!!
Back to the original location and I stayed as long as poss to give every chance of it appearing but like everyone else I decided that it was time to start making a move.
I sat in the Wetlands hide, noted the scarcities there and went back to the car around 1.20pm coz I was picking Michelle up from work at teatime. Suddenly a bloke I know from Leeds came running back to the car park shouting "it's back, it's back", this time on Easington beach and showing well, so I jumped in the car and off I went - Last Chance Saloon.
Well I was probably in the first 15 or so there and the Plover showed very well indeed, everyone was sighing with relief and laughing and joking at the back and forth antics of trying to locate it.
Amazing at how many people, like me, were literally seconds from giving up and going home when the news they were waiting for came through.
I took some photos but it was a very hot sunny day and heat haze was fairly strong so my apologies for the not so good images.

- Greater Sand Plover 1 (Lifer)
- Wood Sandpiper 1 at KW
- Curlew Sandpiper 1 at KW but distant
- Little Gull 3 flyovers all adults
- Mediterranean Gulls 2 adults
- Yellow-legged Gull 1 probable adult in KW
- Barn Owl 1 flew over the road not far from Welwick

Best of the rest...
- Black-tailed Godwit 1 summer plum KW
- Common Snipe 1 at KW
- Greenshank 1
- Golden Plover - c300+ ??
- Dunlin seen here and there (big numbers on the Humber sands)
- Whimbrel 1
- Avocets with well developed young
- Ringed Plover plenty about
- Little Ringed Plover 1 at KW
- Redshank in good numbers
- Little Terns
- Sandwich Terns

Nice to see Ian Lith and Roger Baker, nice timing, and hope you got home ok. I was diverted 3 times due to bad accidents on the A63 near the Humber Bridge, then the M62 was flashing J24 & 25 closed, so the M18 was the logical choice, then the accident message flashed up on the matrix near Sheffield so I diverted off and made my way to Woodhead. Extra half hour on my journey but it was a happy one.




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Today 11.30 - 2pm.

- Squacco Heron (Lifer).

After the hurt of missing the St.Mary's bird a few years ago that was constantly flying back and forth from a coastal lagoon to the nature reserve, and us having to then rush back to get the Scillonian, this one was within easy reach and I just couldn't risk not going for it provided it remained today. It did just that, and what a stonker of a bird in full summer plumage.
It was at the edge of the pool on Holderness Field near Kilnsea Wetlands but it was very flighty and relocated to another pool near the top of Beacon Lane and the beach.
However it didn't stay long there either and flew off high over the Little Tern colony and dropped down beyond Easington lagoons. I walked over that way on my own and relocated it virtually right infront of me, I didn't see it hidden in the reeds and it flew up and back over to Holderness Field.
It made for good viewing eventually and what a good decision to walk over towards the lagoons as I found an adult Curlew Sandpiper just outside the warden's hut, distant tho.

- Curlew Sandpiper 1 adult with a Knot
- Little Gull 19 together on KW (56 before I got there)
- Mediterranean Gulls 5 (apparently more around tho)
- Little Tern colony
- Sandwich Terns
- Arctic Tern 1 only
- Common Terns
- Avocets
- Reed Warbler 2
- Sedge Warbler 1
- Lesser Whitethroat heard near Kilnsea





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Squacco Heron still present on Holderness field 8.30 but very flighty, Record phonescoped image attached, Also of note 26 Little Gull on Kilnsea wetlands

-- Edited by Mark Burgess on Sunday 1st of July 2018 10:13:56 PM

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