A very successful trip thanks to the leader Julia Smith who organised everything and who wrote the following report. Thanks also to Christine Gregory and Dave Hallam for the photos.
It was a lively group of 16 birders that met on Sunday 8th Oct to head off to Spurn. Mike Conroy advised us that if we stopped off at Easington, just before we arrived, we had the chance to see a Red-backed Shrike and a
Rosy Starling. Our driver was happy to oblige so we stopped, headed down the lane and there it was – what a treat! It was quite happily bouncing around in the hedgerow. Sadly, no sign of the Rosy Starling.
On arrival at Spurn, everyone split up in different directions and groups which may account for the final great number of 62 spots, with roe deer, seals and red admiral/green veined butterflies (and fossils!) as an added bonus. Particular highlights were a Lapland Bunting, Red-breasted Flycatcher and a couple of members caught a Long-eared Owl flying over their heads. Amazing!
The Bluebell cafe still serves an excellent cuppa and bacon butty and we hope that they continue to be available when the new, sadly still controversial, YWT visitor centre opens. It’s construction was observed to be well on the way.
A great day, the weather was dry and the drive home was bathed in sunshine. Happy birders!
Thanks to Rob Smith for keeping the list on the walk. The walk included a first for a Saturday Morning Walk, the male Common Scoter.
Great Crested Grebe Cormorant Grey Heron Mute Swan Whooper Swan Greylag Goose Canada Goose Gadwall Mallard Tufted Duck Common Scoter Goosander Kestrel Moorhen Coot Lapwing Black-headed Gull Herring Gull Stock Dove Woodpigeon Pied Wagtail Wren Dunnock Robin Blackbird Song Thrush Goldcrest Long-tailed Tit Coal Tit Blue Tit Great Tit Nuthatch (call) Jay Magpie Jackdaw Rook Carrion Crow Starling House Sparrow Chaffinch Greenfinch Goldfinch Bullfinch
The main tasks for this weekend’s work party will be cutting back the brambles encroaching onto the margins of the Middle Pond as well as raking up hedge cuttings and other cut and dead vegetation around the site. We also need to have an unseasonal bonfire as quite a lot of woody material has accumulated in the fire-pit. As usual there should be time to study the wildlife, there are still a number of butterflies and dragonflies about at this time of year.
To help at the work party, meet at the reserve on Saturday, 23rd September at 9:30 am. We will finish around lunchtime. All members are welcome and no previous experience is necessary. Please wear appropriate work clothes, stout shoes, boots or wellies, and gardening gloves or equivalent. Most tools are available on-site but bring along anything you think might help such as a sturdy rake or a pair of loppers.
Eight members chose the dry but chilly weather to visit this fabulous reserve rather than stay at home where as I understand it, the weather was not so kind.
We benefitted enormously from the fact that there was a particularly high tide peaking at about 08:40 that morning and thus driving thousands of waders onto the scrapes. (Sea water had got as far as the sea wall in places which is unusual.) As the sea receded, many of the waders returned to The Wash providing a dramatic change between morning and afternoon viewing with few waders after lunch although still one special species remained.
59 species were seen during the day, the best of which, in no particular order were:
Great White Egret 1, Spoonbill 1, at least 4 Curlew Sandpipers, 2 Greenshank, 9 Little
Stint, a Grey Plover, 1 Sandwich Tern, a Whooper Swan, Yellow Wagtails and a couple of
Wheatear. However, it was the shear numbers of quite common waders which was probably the most impressive feature of the visit. There were literally several thousand Black-tailed Godwits creating an evocative background sound with their chattering
(probably discussing where they were going to go for breakfast), hundreds of Dunlin and Ringed Plover and one visitor counted 80 Linnets. Added to this, there were quite a few Swifts still about and all the hirundines plus a large flock of Goldfinch which would rise en masse from the thistles as you passed. As you walked along the sea wall, it was fabulous to have House Martins drifting past at head height in the strong wind and only a few feet away.
And then there were the other animals!
In spite of missing out on the Wood and Pectoral Sandpipers, which remained stubbornly elusive, we had a wonderful time and if you get the chance to go in the next week or two it could prove a worthwhile experience.
The good photos were provided by the proper photographers on the trip – the rubbish ones were digiscoped!
Thanks to Wendy again for keeping the list
Canada, Black Headed Gull, Tufted Duck, Cormorant, Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Grey Heron, Mallard, Little Egret, Coot, Robin, Little Grebe, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Jay, Chiffchaff, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Wren, Goldfinch, Crow, Litle Owl, Kestrel, Magpie, Nuthatch, Swallow, Jackdaw, Rook, Dunnock, Collared Dove, Mistle Thrush, Great Tit, Goldcrest, Osprey, Raven, Buzzard, Hobby.
The weather forecast was foul causing even the trip leader to bale out. However, three hardy souls braved the elements and reported as follows:
You (i.e. the trip leader) were right to cancel. It rained for the 4 hours we were there. Visibility was bad and there was very little movement.
We saw 51 species including Barn Owl, Greensand, Dunlin, Marsh Harrier, Spotted Redshank, Snipe & half a dozen Ruff in a wide variety of plumages . We dipped on the female Montague’s Harrier that had been reported twice the day before and also that morning before we arrived. Also surprisingly absent were Avocets, Spoonbills and Bearded Tits, all of which we had expected to see.
It can’t have been that bad Ron, if you managed to see 51 species or were you counting plants as well?
Thanks to Wendy Dyson for keeping the bird list for the walk. Here is the full list:-
Lapwing, Buzzard, Cormarant, Mallard, Swallow, Wood pigeon, L black backed Gull, Great Crested Grebe, Greenfinch, Crow, Canada Goose, Pied wagtail, Common tern, Swift, Tufted Duck, Little egret, Heron, Coot, Goldcrest, Moorhen, Sparrow hawk, GT tit, Chaffinch, Blue tit, Coal tit, Robin, GT Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Magpie, Yellow hammer, Blackbird, Green Finch, Gold Finch, Nuthatch, Dunnock, L Tail Tit, Wren, House sparrow, Greylag Goose, Housemartin, Black headed Gull, Black cap, Reed warbler, Willow warbler, Willow tit, White throat, Bull Finch
Makes 46 in total.not a bad number for August!
Bird list for the walk, thanks to Wendy Dyson
Crow, Robin, Wren, Chiffchaff, L t tit, Oystercatcher, Canada goose, Greylag, Heron, Goldfinch, Pheasant, L B Backed Gull, Cormorant, B Headed gull, Swallow, Wood pigeon, Chaffinch, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Sedge warbler, Swift, Lapwing, Herring gull, Tufted Duck, Blackcap, Yellow hammer, Mallard, Black tailed godwit, Mandarin, Blackbird, Coot, Pied wagtail, Great tit, Blue tit, Dunnock, Jay, GT Spotted Woodpecker, Song thrush, Sparrow hawk, Whitethroat, Greenfinch, Magpie, Mistle thrush, House sparrow, Buzzard, Nuthatch.
We then went into the hides and added
Osprey, Little ring plover, Reed warbler, Bullfinch.
That makes 50 in all.
Thanks to Wendy Dyson for the following:-.
A pleasant morning saw about 40 people join the walk. Most did the Brackenfield loop, a few returned after reaching the Church. Four walked down to the River Amber and did the loop of the reservoir.
Greylag and Canada Geese. Willow Warbler, Lapwing, Mallard, Chiff Chaff, Cormorant,
Carrion Crow, Robin Wren, Common Tern, Swallow, Dunnock, Blackbird, Great Crested Grebe, Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Oystercatcher, Coot, Pied Wagtail,
Grey Wagtail, wood Pigeon, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Jackdaw, Magpie, Chaffinch,
Blue Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Goldfinch, Kestrel, Starling, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush,Yellowhammer, Swift,Jay,
Little Ringed Plover, Rook, Bullfinch, Heron, Buzzard, After the walk a Black Headed Gull was seen from the hide. Those still in the car park saw an Osprey at 1pm.