Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Saturday 29th September 2012 - Spurn

Last Saturday we had spent the day, as per usual, slogging our way around the less watched hotspots of Staffordshire (well that could be anywhere at the moment!) and at the end of 10+hrs in the field, we hadn't really seen much at all. We decided that we deserved a trip out again, and all week we were carefully surveying all the bird information services to see where we would end up. It had been blowing easterlies for the first half of the week, but by Thursday, the wind switched back to a westerly. There was still plenty to see on the East Coast though, and we decided to head for Spurn. In Autumn, you are always almost guaranteed a good day there. CJW decided he wanted a good Autumnal days birding as well, and so we set off at 05-00hrs, arriving at a sunny, cloudless Spurn at 08-00hrs. It was quite breezy though.

We paused briefly in the Crown & Anchor car park, but it was directly facing the wind, and there was clearly no shelter for any passerines. Then a birder walked in and told us there were two YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS by Kew Villa. We walked round and we could see it was a better area; in the sun and not as breezy. There was no sign of the YBW, but we did see a Lesser Whitethroat and a man tried to sell us a Redpoll. If it was rarer, then maybe we could have taken it back to Westport with us.

A ringer from Kew kindly came round and showed us this Redpoll, of which there were many flying over, along with other finch sp

We watched a Redstart hopping around on a path, plus two Blackcap, before we moved off to see the GREENISH WARBLER behind the Riverside Hotel. Again, the strong westerly wind was hampering us, but we were pleasantly surprised to find out when reached the bushes that the GREENISH WARBLER had already been seen this morning. We stood with the smallish crowd, and eventually, we saw occasional fleeting glimpses of a bird flitting about. Knowing where it roughly was in the bush was a great help, and soon we were having better views of the Greenish Warbler, feeding low down in the brambles. CJW was especially keen to see this, as he hadn't seen one for quite a while. As we stood there, birds were flying over all the time - nice to see viz migging in action.

Dave Kelsall saw the Spurn Greenish Warbler a few days before us, and took these four excellent photo's.

 We returned to the windy Crown & Anchor, then a brief check at Kew (only to accidentally stray in a private members only area!) and then we stood in the churchyard. There was quite a bit of activity here, and a Yellow-browed Warbler was soon on show, along with many Goldcrests.

We wandered off up Beacon Lane, checked the pools and even did a bit of seawatching; the highlight being seven extremely distant swan sp that were flying towards us. They then landed on the sea and had a preen.

We had our lunch in the car park of the Bluebell Cafe, and met up with Brocton Ian, who informed us the RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER had been showing in the churchyard. We returned, and spent most of the rest of the afternoon there, watching the birds moving through the area. The Yellow-browed Warbler showed again, plus the Lesser Whitethroat. There was one shout for the RBFly, but we weren't quick enough onto it. We watched where it moved to, but we were slightly puzzled when a Chiffchaff came out into view!

The were side attractions, especially this very showy Lizard, sunning itself on the church.  

Quite a few dragonflies were also present, like this Migrant Hawker (picture by CJW)