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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Spurn, Yorkshire - 06/09/21 (1 Viewer)

Himalaya

Well-known member
The last time I visited Spurn was in 2016. Since my first visit in 2012 I have fallen in love with the area but sadly it is a 2 1/2 hour drive from my home in Lancashire and that is with the traffic behaving. I have planned trips annually but every time something would block the visit. When I looked at what was found that day and I saw Red Eyed Vireo, Great Snipe, Red Footed Falcon, rare Wheatears.
2 of those that had planned to go had to pull out so I was left with a first time visitor to Spurn. I was apprehensive. What would Derek make of Spurn and everything that goes on there? I had met people who didn't like it. Anyway he did enjoy Leighton Moss, Marshside, Fairburn Ings and St Aidan's so surely he could not help but look Spurn? We were meeting at 5.30am my time which was 5.45am British time. The trip to Spurn was uneventful.
Early morning in the Kilnsea Wetlands Car Park as we were getting ready to go a Yellow Wagtail flew overhead calling. It was actually a lifer for Derek. Mission of the day was to show a grounded Yellow Wagtail to him so he could appreciate just how elegant this species actually is. Cormorants, Greylag Geese, Sanderling, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Little Egret, Black tailed Godwits, Redshanks all flew over. The morning echoed to the call of the Sandwich Tern. Their call reverberated around the morning wetland. At the wetlands itself Teal, Wigeon, Pintail, Mallard, Shoveler, Canada Geese, Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Pied Wagtails, Great Black Backed Gull, Lesser Black backed Gull, Carrion crow, Common Gull, Black Headed Gull, Jackdaw, Knot, Reed Bunting, Dunlin, Shelduck, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Pheasant, Swallow, Magpie, Herring Gull, Stock Dove, Robin, Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper, Grey Plover, House Martin, Sand Martin, Little Grebe, Linnet, Moorhen, Whitethroat, Dunnock, Little Stint, Wren, Wheatear, Linnet, Starlings, Kestrel found themselves on our list on the wetlands or in the field nearby or flying over. A lady had pointed out a Little Owl on a wood pile to us and there it was sunning itself. It had been a long time since a bird list of mine had grown so quickly. Back at the hide 2 Avocets mobbed a Marsh Harrier
 

Himalaya

Well-known member
It was fascinating to see all that activity at the Kilnsea Wetlands and it resembled an airport with birds coming and going. We headed to the "new" visitor centre which was my first time in visiting it and we saw a Blackcap. It wasn't that big as I thought it would be and getting into a debate about if it was a good thing or bad thing with a local was interesting. I was always against it on environmental grounds but visiting Spurn from afar was not really an environmental responsible activity and the more visitors would create the need for such facilities I was told. From the raised banking we looked down onto the reeds and saw Goldfinch, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, House Sparrow, Whitethroat doing their thing. We stopped off at the Canal Scrape Hide and a Redstart disappeared into a hedge along the way. From the hide we added Sedge Warbler, Water Rail and Coot. We decided to walk to the Chalk Bank Hide where a Nightingale had been showing on and off and along the way was our first stop, the Warren where we hoped to see as Rosefinch but sadly it did not appear. The walk was a bit of a drag but we saw Migrant Hawker dragonflies on the way along with Red Admirals, White butterflies, Tortoiseshells, Common Blues added to the butterfly list. 2 Grey Seals showed. A large flock of Golden Plover, Whimbrel, Kittiwake, Common Terns, a Lesser Whitethroat were the latest additions to the daily list and we admitted defeat by turning back once we reached 80% of the way to the Chalk Bank Hide.
 

Himalaya

Well-known member
We headed back to Kilnsea Wetlands when news of a Red Backed Shrike along Beacon Lane came about. We parked at the Wetlands and managed to add Grey Wagtails flying over and Oystercatcher, Curlew, Curlew Sandpiper, Greenshank. A Caspian Gull was pointed out to us on the way to the Shrike. The latter was tricky as I wondered could this species be ticked without showing it's underwing? It would be a British tick for me if it was an accepted record. We walked to the spot where the Shrike was reported and around the area but nothing. Other birders had managed to see it but we came back empty handed. Luckily I had seen one before and that was at Spurn also but I would have like Derek to have seen one. It would have been a lifer for him. A quick look at the Spurn Twitter account and a Honey Buzzard was reported over Kilnsea and an Arctic Warbler at the churchyard. I had only ever seen two Honey Buzzard's - the first in Germany and the other in Kent. As far Arctic Warbler neither of us had seen this species and if we caught up with this one today that would have been a huge triumph. Lots of birders around but none had seen it. It wasn't looking good. We stuck around for a little bit of time and then decided to give it a miss. As we waited we ticked Blue Tit, Great Tit, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Garden Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and on the Estuary some Turnstone were present. We watched many of the commoner species in the bushes coming out in the sun. Later on we heard a Barred Warbler was present here - a bird I had onlky ever seen once in my life and that in Germany too. Derek would have needed it too. We were told Spotted Flycatchers were present with Pied Flycatchers in the churchyard and we entered. Both species were catching flies which landed on the church roof and then fly back into the trees. It was almost like they were playing a game. Time to call it a day and we left in the glorious sunshine and managed to add Grey Heron and Buzzard.

I might have missed a few species due to my bad handwriting but overall we had an interesting day. Derek managed to see some great lifers such as yellow Wagtail, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, Sanderling, Sandwich Tern, Turnstone.
We missed some common species such as Long Tailed Tit, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Sparrowhawk and Coal Tit too.
Not to forget the beautiful scone with butter, jam and cream and a pot of tea!
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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