Tuesday, 21 April 2009

First Class & Overtime

Barn Owl
Willow Warbler
Ruby Tiger Moth
Continental Stonechat
Roe Deer
Drinker Moth caterpillar
Record shot of Hen Harrier (Ringtail)

The thick mist was just clearing as the first class of the Sumer term was about to begin. A Barn Owl appeared and flew very close to the group soon to be followed by 2 more. The summer migrants are still in the process of arriving, so there were a few Lesser Whitethroats, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap, but no sign yet of Reed Warblers or Common Whiethroats, and Saturday's Sedge Warbler had disappeared. There was the sound of a distant Cuckoo in the morning; whilst each session had good numbers of Linnets, Goldfinches and Greenfinches. There were 2 Shelduck on the second pool, in addition to the usual Tufted Ducks and Mallard, but they were joined by what appeared to be a Ross's Goose paired up with a Greylag last thing.

After the class I bombed up to Spurn to meet up with John Sadler to see if the Subalpine Warbler and other goodies were still at the point. On the drive down there was barely a bird to be seen, but we found the Continental Stonechat and some really bright Wheatears near Spurn Bite, plus a Brambling near the Lifeboat houses. The Brown-tailed moths seemed to have emerged in huge numbers and could pose a problem to visitors and regulars alike. On the way back John spotted a Short-eared Owl near the Warren, but we couldn't connect with it to take a photo. We headed down to Sammy's Point, but the wind had got up and there were virtually no birds to be seen. However, just as we were about to leave John identified a ringtail Hen Harrier, which hunted over several fields before disappearing towards Kilnsea. A perfect ending to a full birding day.

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