Saturday 3 September 2022

August 31st 2022 First Full Day at Spurn Head


Staying for the night and the next two months, at the superb Spurn Bird Observatory... 

... I am up early, around 5am, to go seawatching at the seawatching hide at The Warren.

Soon joined by the Spurn regulars, armed with my new OPTICRON Travelscope, birds passing, with nearly all heading south, included over 350 Kittiwakes. These were mostly juvenile/1st year birds, over 90% of them and show that Kittiwakes at least have had a good breeding bird.

Soon tuning into the direction signals and markers, for instance the above photo shows the wind farm's power substation, local experts, like Steve, soon shout out as birds of note pass.

Fifteen Scoter north past left five.

I note down each passing bird, be they Gannet, Sandwich and Common Tern, Razorbill or Oystercatcher and am delighted when three Sooty Shearwaters * pass by, taking my BIGBY bird list for 2022 up to 257.

Incoming Whatsapp news of a Citrine Wagtail has everyone packing up and soon, within a very packed hide at Kilnsea Wetlands, I am adding the bird to my list. 258.

High tide in The Humber Estuary has waders roosting at Kilnsea and a long-staying Spoonbill is entertaining as it swish swish feeds in the shallow waters.

Now as I am a Friend of Spurn, a fully paid up member thanks to my daughter, Rebecca's Christmas present, I am allowed access to areas not available to non-friends. One of these is Syke's Meadow and a reported Icterine Warbler has me exploring the area, with other birds.

No sign of the Icky, news of a Red-backed Shrike at Vicars Lane, Easington has me cycle there but once again I dip.
Win two, lose two, I am not too upset by the dips, I have two months at Spurn Head ahead of me so there is plenty of time and a good chance that both these birds will be seen.

Back to the Bird Observatory for some tea; lentils and a protein drink bought for me by my son, Joshua, I am relaxing as the sun starts to sink.

News of a Wryneck disturbs my evening snooze and within ten minutes I have pedalled to Sammy's Point to not only add yet another bird to the BIGBY bird list but also see two birding friends, Mark Thomas of the RSPB and Niall Hunt, a birder who kindly put me up for the night back in January.

Three new birds in one day, this Green Birding lark is easy! With September starting tomorrow and with an average of 16 new birds for my list seen over the last ten years at Spurn; maximum of 21 in 2020 and minimum of 11 in 2015, I have a great chance to see a fair chunk of the 42 bird spcies I need to get to the magic, almost mythical target of 300 by the end of the month. 

I will be up with the lark once more tomorrow, to seawatch once more.

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