Wednesday, 24 August 2011

One of our Wrynecks is Missing

The weather looked quite promising for migrants today, so after waking at the incredibly early time of 4.10, I arrived at Spurn at just before 7am. Unfortunately, it was almost immediately apparent that there was to be no large influx of migrants. I met a birdforum-er in the Crown & Anchor car park and together we set off down the Canal Zone - the area where yesterday's Wryneck was sighted briefly. We had no such luck today, but 3 Grasshopper Warbler fledglings in the same bush was a nice bonus. An immature Whitethroat was another sighting in the same area, but there wasn't a lot of other birds to see. The Canal Scrape only added Swallows and a distant Wheatear on the hedge we had just walked past. Then we walked towards the Blue bell where a lone Swift was seen catching insects above the hirundines.
From the Blue bell we travelled along Beacon Lane where we saw several butterfly species and a baby Lizard. Parties of Terns were passing overhead - mainly Sandwich, but there were also some Commic terns passing over. A male Sparrowhawk flew towards us along the hedge, but flicked away out of sight. There were at least 4 Little Egrets on Beacon Ponds, and what appeared to be a Black-necked Grebe. Unfortunately, as both of us were carrying long lenses we didn't have scopes with us, so this bird wasn't definitively identified. A female Sparrowhawk flew the opposite bank before disappearing over the flood barrier.
From the Crown & Anchor we drove to Sammy's Point where again there seemed to be very few birds about, but we did see a Wheatear. On the estuary mud, a large group of Shelduck seemed to have returned after their summer moult in Holland, whilst there were also a few Whimbrel, Curlew, Dunlin; and Jim spotted a Curlew Sandpiper. There was also a sizeable flock of Golden Plovers, which punctuated the rest of the visit with their mournful cries. On the return journey through the bushes there were dozens of Common Blues, several Small Tortoiseshells & a Peacock. However, there seemed to be a family party of at least 5 Yellow Wagtails, and Jim stayed behind to attempt to photograph them. In the bushes next to the car park a Pied Flycatcher indulged in its acrobatic displays as it went after its prey. Although we had quite a decent haul of species, it was disappointing considering yesterday's easterly wind, and the murky conditions overnight. Hopefully future visits will result in some more interesting migrants.
Grasshopper Warbler fledgling
Pied Flycatcher
Wall (Brown) [female]
Common Blue
Young Lizard
Autumnal web
Roe Deer (female & young)
Roe Deer (Buck)


animaloftheday said...

Not meaning to be a party pooper, but your lizard is almost certainly a young newt. But being near spurn it could be the slightly more interesting palmate newt

Anonymous said...

I agree, it's certainly a juvneile newt. But I think it is a Smooth Newt, as juv Palmates have an orange line running along the length of the back and tail.

Juv lizards are just as quick as the adults, and you very rarely see them! Juv newts are more laboured and easily seen and caught.

Richard B

Michael Flowers said...

OK, thanks for that. It was quite slow moving. I'll just leave it as a newt species for now. Cheers