Monday, 21 September 2009
Autumn at Spurn
Been down to sammy's Point and Spurn a couple of times this weekend.The first time was on Friday night with the woodchat shrike in mind.
During the day there had been all sorts reported but with limited time (about an hour before losing the light) I elected to go to Sammys.
The woodchat shrike posed beautifully straight away, so within 10 minutes I had some decent shots.My attention turned to the paddock east of the car park.There was an extremely obliging spotted flycatcher that posed nicely in good light.
Also nearby was redstart,wheatear and snow bunting.
I left looking forward to the next trip,
We had planned a family day out for Saturday and I watched the pager nervously as scarce rare after scarce rare flashed up for Spurn.
Sunday morning came and after a clear night I feared the worst.It was my intention to start at spurn Point and work my way up, however a flooded road put paid to that plan.was it an omen?
I went to Sammy's Point and the woodchat shrike was still there I walked right up to the last set of bushes towards kilnsea with only a couple of gulls on the way.The trip back wasn't much more productive with only a few meadow pipit and a small flock of golden plover in an adjacent field.It was only when I got back to the first paddock that the birds began to show with a couple of wheatear,spotted flycatcher, whitethroat and a few more redstart.I managed a few shots of these before heading towards Spurn.
Had a quick look on canal scrape and the surrounding area, plenty of birders but not a lot bout (the earlier reported common rosefinch had vanished).
A quick look on the cliff top opposite canal scrape hide produced a pair of stonechat.
The radio crackled with the news that the gate had been re-opened so I headed towards the point, a brief look for the firecrest yielded a biref glimpse and the sound of it calling.
On towards the point again it looked quiet but as I got to the green beacon the lapland bunting was sat amongst the grasses only 20ft away.
News of a Richards Pipit came over the airwaves so I made my way off the point and stopped of at post 62 (parked at chalk bank and walked south).I headed to post 62 for the reported barred warbler,and it was while walking I noticed a large pipit amongst the meadow pipits with a strange call almost simultaneously 'richards pipit over sheep field' came on the radio.It landed briefely in the field, then on the fence then went onto the beach, a quick look over the top and it was up again, this time heading on its way south.Wow a lifer!
No sign of the barred warbler but plenty of common migrants including whinchat and more redstart.
On the way back to the car a pair of brightly coloured willow warblers caught my eye.
I called in at the crown and anchor car park on the way up, again very quiet so went back to Sammy's Point.
The woodchat shrike had moved into the paddock area and became slightly more elusive spending more time in the bushes.
The common migrants were still in abundance and a med gull came in off the Humber.
All in all a very entertaining day, not as many rares as hoped but still some good birds.
On final note, I must commend the staff at the YWT for controlling a huge volume of people with very little fuss, made the day more enjoyable.