Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Signs of Spring at Last!

This morning my nephew and I visited Kilnsea to see if there were any common Summer migrants.  We parked in the Canal car park, although I can't be sure if you are supposed to do that anymore.  I avoided the pay and display car park, as it looked too high tech.  We went to Canal Scrape first for the first time in over a year.  There were two Little Grebes, Coots and two rather over-excited male unmentionables making a female's life miserable, before they started fighting each other.  My nephew heard the call of a Yellow Wagtail and sure enough we saw it heading south.  Apparently, it was the first seen in the Spurn area this year.
Male Wheatear
We attempted to walk along the Canal Zone, which was the muddiest I'd ever seen it.  I shouldn't have been surprised, as there were flooded ditches and fields all along the journey, and even across the road in a couple of places.  We came across a toad in the middle of the path along the canal, which Ben placed to the side of the path for safety.  There were plenty of Reed Buntings, which was probably the most numerous passerine species seen.  Meanwhile small flocks of Redshank were flying low over the high tide water on our left.  Two-thirds along the canal Ben spotted movement along the rocks, and sure enough there was a very smart male Wheatear.  
 Pair of Shoveler heading south - not a species I see too often at Spurn
 Common Toad
We saw two more Wheatears on Borrow Pits - one of which was much browner than the bird at the top of the blog.   
Meanwhile, back at home the pair of Mistle Thrushes are still visiting.  The Tree Sparrow stayed four days in total, and I managed a record shot through the window, but it has gone now.  Hopefully, it won't be long before the Swallows and Willow Warblers are back in numbers, and it would be nice to have the opportunity to photograph some of the most colourful summer visitors, especially after what has been a long and rather drab winter.  Bring it on!
Mistle Thrush
 Tree Sparrow

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