Saturday, 7 September 2013

Spurn Migration festival!

The alarm clock went off at 5:30am and we rolled out of bed looking forward to the UK's first Migration Festival at Spurn.

As we set off the weather wasn't very good, it was dark and it looked like it was going to rain but as we got closer to Spurn the weather became much nicer it was sunny with hardly a cloud in the sky.

On the road leading into Spurn we came across a field full of gulls which included Common, Black Headed, Little and Mediterranean Gulls. A little further down this track we saw a number of people with scopes and binoculars and realised something interesting was ahead of us. We parked by the roadside and one of the guys was kind enough to let us look through his scope at a stunning Red Backed Shrike.
Red Backed Shrike
After we had watched him for a while we carried on down the road to Westmere Farm where we picked up the tickets for the Migration festival. When we got to the main gates at Spurn we decided to get a Landrover to some hides about half way down.
When we got there lots of sand martins and swallows were flying around picking up insects from around the area. As we entered the first hide around 400 Oyster Catchers were sitting on the scrapes also millions of Knots were flying around in front of the hide after a few minutes of flying around the Knots eventually came into land, other birds around the scrapes included around 100 Grey plover, a few Golden Plover, Sandwich Terns, Turnstone, Sanderling and Ringed plovers, after every minute or so more and more birds kept dropping in, it was absolutely amazing to watch.
Grey Plover

After a while of being in the first hide we decided to go over to the second hide. Around this hide there was a group of about 10 Grey Plover sitting on some rocks with around about 5 Turnstone. As we were watching them I noticed some Turnstones making there way down to the front of the hide and then they were shortly followed by around 10 Sanderling also a little bit further out about 20 Sandwich Terns were flying around.

We decided after this to go and do a bit of sea watching so we managed to get the Landrover back to the entrance and then make our way up to the sea watching hide. When we got there on the sea there wasn't much apart from some Common Terns, After a bit my dad started talking to this man who after a bit got informed that they had trapped a Swallow in one of the nets and then he said that he would bring it up to show us and a lot of the people who were sea watching. When he brought it up a big crowd of people suddenly surrounded him. It was amazing to get so close to this superb little bird, the detail is amazing. After a while of showing everyone he let it go.
After a go at sea watching we decided to go back to see the Red backed Shrike one more time before heading home and once again he was giving good views sitting at the top of a branch, we stayed for about half an hour before leaving the absolutely superb Spurn Migration Festival!


  1. Cracking photos Ellis , what a great list of birds and an amazing birding experience you and your dad have had , i might go next year if they do it again . Cheers Rob

  2. Going next Saturday Ellis, so thanks for the blog and letting me know what to look forward to