Friday, 26 September 2008

Autumn Friday 1 - Spurn Point

Stonechat (c) 2008 Bob Silcock
Ruddy Darter (c) 2008 Bob Silcock
Spotted Flycatcher (c) 2008 Bob Silcock
Spotted Flycatcher
Whinchat (c) 2008 Tony Robinson
Red-breasted Flycatcher (c) 2008 Tony Robinson - what the twitchers have been looking for all week!
Great Grey Shrike (c) 2008 Tony Robinson
Another excellent haul of species at this coastal site. The birds were a little harder to find today, but could be located with a little perserverance. Species seen today included: Great Grey Shrike, Red-backed Shrike, Redstart, Whinchat, Stonechat, Spotted Flycatcher, Knot, Little Egret, Redwing, Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Curlew. There were plenty of Meadow Pipits and Reed Buntings, whilst Goldcrests had definitely increased in number.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Autumn Thursday 1 - Spurn Point

Great Grey Shrike - early morning! [below]
Great Grey Shrike - afternoon "twitch"
Redstart (c) 2008 Jackie Dawson
Snipe (c) 2008 Jackie Dawson
Short-eared Owl - "in off Sea"
Record shot of Short-eared Owl
Record shot of Short-eared Owl
Short-eared Owl - back-end view Redstart
Record shot of Whinchat in flight
Pied Flycatcher
Reed Bunting
Well, it's difficult to know where to start with today's birds! I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that we had the greatest variety of birds ever since the course started five years ago, plus the greatest number of "lifers" for the majority of participants. In short, we had quantity & quality, and only some of the species we saw are pictured above. Ken said 5 birds were new to him, and this figure may have been higher from some on the course. We also saw 7 Little Egrets in the sky together at the same time, which is the highest number I've ever seen. There were also fairly unusual species for Spurn, as we saw 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, and this is a bird I've not seen at Spurn in 40 years of visits. If anyone from today wants to tell me their highlights. which I haven't mentioned I'll add them to this blog. I daren't tell the new 'students' who came for the first time today that things can only go downhill from here!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Autumn Wednesday 1 - Paull Holme Strays

Little Egrets
Small Copper (c) 2008 Maurice Gordon
Small Copper (c) 2008 Maurice Gordon
Small Copper (c) 2008 Maurice Gordon

The first Wednesday session was extremely windy, although everywhere away from the river remained perfectly calm! We saw an obliging Stonechat during both sessions; whilst during the afternoon we managed to spot 4 Little Egrets. Also present: Curlew, Golden Plover, Knot, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Heron, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, and a large flock of Linnets. Apparently, we missed a Marsh Harrier; whilst the reported Tawny Pipit was nowhere to be seen! One of the most unusual sightings were at least 20 Juvenile Gannets on the Humber. For more information on this see Graham Catley's Barton website:

Autumn Tuesday 1 - Flamborough Lighthouse

Sunflowers (c) 2008 Roy Cull
Pied Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher
Record shot of Redstart
Record shot of Eider
Migrant Hawker (c) 2008 Chris Cox
Migrant Hawker
An excellent start to the classes with several species we hadn't previously seen during Tuesday sessions. Once the sun came out the sharp northerly wind became easier to bear, but the birds didn't let us down even before the sun came out. We didn't see anything rare, but we had a nice selection of what are called "Common Migrants".

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Super Spurn!

It is not yet too late to book for the Autumn Course starting next week. We visit a different local wildlife hotspot each week and identify all the birds and as much other wildlife as we can. Each session lasts at least 2 hours. During the early weeks of the Autumn Course we pay special attention to migrating birds along the coast, but later switch our attention to waders and wildfowl at inland locations. The course runs twice daily Tuesday to Friday. At the moment there are vacancies on Tues pm, Weds pm, Thurs am, Fri am & one space on Fri pm. If you are interested in more details of the course, please leave a comment next to one of my posts or email me on
There's been quite a decent fall of migrants at Spurn in the last few days. Although rarities have been seen and recorded, below are some of the species classed as Common Migrants
Juvenile Cuckoo

Juvenile Pied Flycatcher
Redstart (male)ditto
Spotted Flycatcher
Whinchat (male)
Record shot of Pied Flycatcher
Juvenile Blackbird
Record shot of Red-Backed Shrike
Record shot of Flava Wagtail
Red Admiral
Redstart (male)