Friday 27 September 2013

Spurn sunshine

The wind went easterly in the week and a deluge of migrants poured over the North Sea and birders along the East Coast were apparently knee-deep in Yellow-browed Warblers. The Northern Isles had scored massively, so it was with much anticipation that I headed east to Spurn.

Half a dozen Redwings over Easington Village whetted the appetite for what was to come and I headed first to Sammy's Point. A good trawl round the bushes here surprisingly revealed very little, with only c20 Song Thrushes and a couple of Whitethoats of note, plus a couple of Greenshanks on the Humber.

On to Easington Churchyard which should have been crawling with stripy phylloscs. Not today, with two Redstarts scant compensation.

News was coming through from Spurn and Kilnsea so a short drive later and I was soon heading round the triangle having picked up a spare radio (thanks Andy!). A Wheatear was present on the fence in the middle of Well Field and from Canal Scrape Hide, a smart juvenile Little Stint sporting snazzy bling was showing very well along with a bouncing Jack Snipe feeding on the cut area. Little else of note around the triangle. On the way back to the car a visit to the Kilnsea Churchyard revealed first a Pied Flycatcher and then a fine Yellow-browed Warbler flicking around in a Sycamore. The bird was mostly silent but did a brief bout of calling.

Crazy bouncing Jack.

Lunch at the Warren and then on to Chalk Bank for fine views of a Red-breasted Flycatcher, before some serious bush grilling. This was hard work in the glorious sunshine though Garden Warbler, Whitethroat, a Whinchat-Wheatear-Whinchat superspecies (don't ask!), a Redpoll x Linnet hybrid (the sun was getting to me by this point) and a Goldcrest were the noted migrants. Presumably the clear skies were allowing all incoming migrants to fly straight over at height. 30 Brents on the Humber were a fine sight and plenty of Gannets seemed to be investigating the outskirts of Hull, but most seemed to return.

RBFly...A lovely and confiding little bird.

Last stop was the point where a Wheatear fed on the lawn and a Redstart 'hoo-eet'ed around the lock-up. The bushes were dead on the whole, though more Song Thrushes were in evidence. Another Redstart on the other side of the Parade Ground could have been a second bird. It was a joy to explore the network of newly cut paths - nice one Adam, Phil and Vicky.

A quick look for a Firecrest at the Warren on the return journey, revealed a briefly calling Yellow-brow next to Warren Cottage and a flitting flight view of said Firecrest. All in all a lovely day, though very few new birds in.

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