Monday, 20 April 2009

Hide & Seek

First View - back only
Best view, but camera knocked, so image overexposed - grrrrh!
What's that singing by the side of the path? Can it be...?
Oh yes it can!
Checking it has an audience
The closest I got, but a twig in the way - grrrrh!
Giving it full throttle
Between bursts of song
Willow Warbler
Speckled Wood
Stonefly (thanks to Nick Patel)
It's my last day of freedom for a while, so do I look for a very elusive Subalpine Warbler that's been hanging around Spurn for a couple of days, or shall I go to meet one of our easiest to see and favourite summer visitors? No contest then, especially as it seemed likely that the Spurn warbler would have moved on (Footnote: of course it was still there!). I felt a traitor, but I crossed the border into foreign parts and kept going without a backward glance. It was very cold & foggy at 8.30 when I got there, but I went for a walk anyway & almost on the stroke of 9am there was a peal of sound bursting from the opposite side of the busy railway line. I stood & watched for 10 minutes until the bird went quiet, but there was no sign of movement. I soon heard another, and another, and at least these were right next to the path. In all I think I heard 4 individuals, and got sneaky views of at least 2 of them. The best view was one which flew into a thicket of flowering blackthorn, and as it turned and slowed it fanned its tail & the rufous colour made a fantastic contrast against the white blossom - unfortunately, I was so openmouthed my camera remained by my side. One disappointment at this site is that the full glory of the song is a little difficult to appreciate against the raucous calls of the nearby Black-headed Gull colony, plus it can be wiped out completely by the really long freight trains which cross right next to some of the soloists. It's also a popular site with the obligatory dog-walkers, and ramblers who seem oblivious to the world's finest vocal performers (probably) singing within a few feet of their unappreciative skulls! The above pictures tell the rest of the story, but the site was also crawling with Brimstone butterflies, Orange-tips and several species of whites - a memorable day's birding. Shame I didn't have time to go to Spurn too!


Marcus Conway said...

Nice set of shots Michael

Nick Patel said...

insect is a stonefly. out in masses this week! where were ya? Paxton?



Michael Flowers said...

Cheers Nick,

Paxton would really be a trip into foreign parts from Hull - no, Whisby, near Lincoln.