Sunday, 6 June 2010

Hobby at Spurn

Virtually all decent pics (c) 2010 Vince Cowell, others are mine
Yellow Wagtail (followed by a Common Whitethroat)

Wall [Brown]
Wall Brown [underside]
Common Blue
Brown Argus [male]
Common Blue [female]
Common Blue [male underside]
Small Heath

After nearly a week in land-locked Worcestershire, I just had to go to the coast. Of course reports of a Red-Spotted Bluethroat, a Golden Oriole, several Red-Backed Shrikes and a Common Rosefinch helped. Vince came along with his massive lens to take the best pictures. We headed up to the point first & found a Lesser Whitethroat belting out its rattle-like song. There had been a big clear-out of the special birds, so we just saw Dunnocks, Whitethroats & Lessers in the shrubs at the spit. The terrible Brown-tail Moth cocoons were not so prevalent in this area as in previous years, but had shifted to the Chalk Bank area instead.
It was high tide there, but there was little to see apart from Cormorants, Ringed Plovers, 6 Little Terns and a Turnstone. Unfortunately, the Common Cranes reported from Thorngumbald failed to head to where we were waiting for them! At Canal Scrape we saw a Little Egret in flight, a large flock of juvenile Starlings, and a very wet Meadow Pipit, but very little else.
On leaving the hide the radio crackled in to life with reports of a Hobby travelling over the caravan park towards the Blue Bell. Vince pulled up the car & dragged his camera out & managed some quick shots as it whisked past us heading South. After lunch we went down Beacon Lane were we were teased by a Common Lizard running across the road, several singing Linnets, and the usual Warblers - including a very wet Lesser Whitethroat. We were overtaken by a young blonde female with a radio - apparently the new Little Tern warden. I didn't realise until she'd gone that we have a mutual friend in tweeter AD Wildlife, so I expected to introduce myself when we got to the hide, but she had embarked on a big circuit round the reserve. There were plenty of butterflies along Beacon Lane, but no out-of-the-ordinary birds. At Beacon Ponds itself we saw a couple of Little Terns, an Oystercatcher, and another Ringed Plover, and a Yellow Wagtail came in from the North. We went on to Sammy's Point to see a single Wheatear, and at least 4 Yellow Wagtails, but it was the insects, especially the butterflies, which were the highlight here. Although there was nothing really special to see, it was still a most enjoyable day.
Unlabelled pics are: Large Skipper (2 pics), Cinnabar (just emerged, pumping up its wings), Blue-tailed Damselfly, and caterpillar of Garden Tiger Moth (known as a Woolly Bear).

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