Monday, September 09, 2013

Migration At It's Best....The Spurn Area,07.09.2013.

With the attraction of a few drift migrants and a good passage of seabirds the previous day...where else but this fantastic area would give us such a great day out again.
Looking towards Sandy Beaches.

Juvenile Swallow at 'The Warren'.

Bait diggers and Spurn Light.

Record shot of Juvenile Red-backed Shrike,'Well Field'.

Female Roe Deer,'The Triangle'.
 The day began after arriving near the Bluebell and consisted of doing the usual routine of camera,scope,food etc..then a look at the sea first.It soon became apparent to us that there was still a good movement of Shearwaters moving north,as on the previous day,albeit a bit distant and consisted of at least 70 Manx and 6 Sooties.After watching the Shears,i picked up a Skua moving south,which i said to Chris looked interesting.It was mainly in silouhette,as it hadn't properly got light yet,but the buoyant flight,pointed thin based wings and attenuated rear,had us both thinking it was a Long-tailed Skua.It seemed to take forever to gain any distance and just as it reached 1 'o' clock from our position an Arctic Skua lifted off the sea and began to chase it.This carried on for about 3 or 4 minutes when the small skua gained height and we lost it to the south.We were both pretty sure that it was a Long-tail,particularly when watched being mobbed by the Arctic.We walked the short distance over to the seawatching hut and joined the gathered throngs taking part in the Migration Festival,more pairs of eyes etc.Highlights from here consisted of a single Juv. Marsh Harrier flying south over the sea and a Juv. Grey Heron doing the same,fantastic to watch and doubles of both Bonxie and Black Tern on the Humber side of the peninsula,also moving south.A few land birds from here included the first 2 of a total of 7 Whinchat for the day.After watching the sea people began to filter away as it quietened down and we did the same looking from the Warren gate as the tide dropped for any interesting waders.We didn't do too bad,adding Greenshank,Juv. Curlew Sand,Ruff,Whimbrel and Spotted Redshank to the day list along with the superb spectacle of thousands of swirling Knot,Sanderling,Bar-tailed Godwit,Dunlin and Ringed Plover.We soon heard that a few interesting passerines were being seen and after a couple of attempts in the blustery southerly we managed some nice views of the Juvenile Red-backed Shrike in the 'Well field'.Less can be said for the Common Rosefinches,as on our second visit of the day a thirty second view as one bird flew into a Hawthorn at the back of 'Church Field',sat there and promptly flew again into the garden of Rose Cottage.These sightings can't be sniffed at though,as they consisted of my 6th Red-backed Shrike in the recording area for the year and 2nd Common Rosefinch.By the time late afternoon came round we had covered all the best areas and had racked up an impressive list of birds for the day,which included 90 species and we decided to end the day by watching the sea again.Things certainly were not as eventfull as the morning session,but it was great to watch the evening flight of Terns moving south to roost.Highlights on this evenings watch included 2 Black Tern south and at least 27 Little Gull north,2 Manx Shearwater south and a handfull of Arctic Skuas also south.So as we made our way back to the car we reflected on what a cracking days birding this superb area can offer,even on a quiet day by Spurns standards.


  1. great write up yet again,, apart from the rosefinch`s steve ,allways seem evasive for me ,:)

  2. Thanks mate,have had superb views of them in the past,but today they were a tad more difficult :-)