Tuesday, 23 March 2010

First Spurn Visit of the Year

Wheatear - stunning male - very welcome sight
Wheatear - beauty on an ugly object
Chiffchaff
Reed Bunting - putting its all into its feeble song
Reed Bunting - its reverend gentleman pose
Brent Goose
Brent Geese
Argument
Gadwall - pale individual drake & a bog standard female
Gadwall - pale individual & 'normal' pair
Starling
Record shot of a Whooper Swan
Ringed Plover
Redshank - with plenty of bling on its shanks
Roe Deer Buck
Roe Deer Buck - back view
Dunnock - the most numerous bird singing today
Common Toad - small individual
I fancied trying to catch up with some summer migrants today, so thought I’d try out Spurn for the first time this year. My arrival coincided with high tide, but it wasn’t especially high, but there were good views of Curlew, Brent Geese and Redshank. One of the latter had multi-coloured rings on its shanks, so it would be interesting to discover where it originated. The bushes looked barren of birds, apart from Dunnocks around the Chalk Bank area, where there were a horrendous number of moth cocoons. However, there were much fewer at the point itself. Eventually, at the point I could hear a few desultory ‘Chiffchaffs’, and plenty of contact calls enabling me to hook up with a summer visitor at last. I would have much preferred a Wheatear, but I couldn’t see one. One of these was reported from Borrow Pits, and a Firecrest was seen at the Warren, but I popped in to Canal Scrape. Here was a very confiding Reed Bunting intent on spilling out its pathetic excuse for a song. Unfortunately, the Common Lizards weren’t showing but there was a small toad in the lizard’s place. From the Canal Scrape hide there were a pair of Mute Swans, and Little Grebes and the awful Coots, which were giving 3 Gadwall a hard time. One of the Gadwall was extraordinarily pale, but I’m not sure if it was pale enough to be classified as leucistic. On to Sammy’s Point where everything seemed bare at first, although there were plenty of Redshank and a few Dunlin huddled on the shore. At the far end of the fenced off area another Chiffchaff was calling. Coming back I saw a movement among the boulders on the shore – at last a stunning male Wheatear. It flew over the barbed & joined the horsefield & then I spotted another 3. I’m sure they weren’t there half an hour before! Satisfied I came back the long way via Stone Creek, but didn’t add any birds of significance to the tally. Thank God the worst of the winter is behind us, and it should improve even more over the next few weeks...

1 comment:

Blackbird said...

Superb photos and it sounds like a wonderful day out. Thank you for your blog Michael!