Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Final Spurn High Tide Visit

Ringed Plovers (c) 2009 Vince Cowell
Ringed Plover (c) 2009 Vince Cowell
Mixed Waders
Wheatear (c) 2009 Vince Cowell
Flava Wagtail
Juvenile Meadow Pipit
Migrant Hawker
Migrant Hawker
Common Darter
Juvenile Willow Warbler
We were at Spurn for an earlier than normal start to take advantage of the high tide. On the way to Chalk Bank we had extremely close views of Whimbrel, Turnstone & Dunlin. At Chalk Bank itself there were a couple of thousand Knot and a small number of Bar-tailed Godwits and Grey Plovers - each of these had some stunning individuals with remants of breeding plumage. Also present were Oystercatchers, Dunlin and the odd Turnstone, and Ringed Plover. The radio crackled that a Redstart was showing from Canal Scrape hide, so we popped in there on the way back, where we also added Lesser Whitethroat, Flava Wagtail, Little Grebe, all the Hirundines (Sand Martin, House Martin and Swallow), some juvenile Meadow Pipits and an incredibly bright Migrant Hawker. We drove over to Sammy's Point for the Cuckoo, but were unable to locate it. Here, we saw several species of butterfly, but apart from many Speckled Woods the species were the same as other recent visits. At Sammy's there were plenty of Golden Plover and a Ruff landed briefly very close to us before heading off towards Kilnsea. Shortly after the Ruff was a strange harsh rhythmical sound I couldn't put a name to, and a pair of terns swung into view flying east. They had long tail streamers and were very white underneath. As I'm aware of the sounds of the other UK species, I could only assume they were Roseate Terns, and on checking audio files when I returned, that is what they appeared to be. I wish I'd had the confidence to ask the Spurn regulars to look out for them! The bushes at Sammy's contained several Willow Warblers, a chiffchaff and a couple of juvenile Whitethroats. The class lasted longer than normal, and the group were well satisfied with both the quantity & quality of the birds they identified - many of them were "lifers" for some participants.

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