Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Spurn Premier!

This weekend we went to Spurn because we wanted to see the Premier of the Spurn Migration Festival DVD and hopefully while we were there add a few bonuses to our trip.

Day 1
The day started of with some ringing at Wheldrake Ings which was a great start to the weekend. We rung around 50 birds which included Blue Tits, Great Tits, Long Tailed Tits, Coal Tits and a single Willow Tit. We also rung Dunnocks, Tree Sparrows, Chaffinches and a Great Spotted Woodpecker which was great to see up close.

After the ringing had finished we set of for Spurn. We arrived at around 2pm and our first target bird was the Black Brant at Kilnsea. More or less as soon as we arrived Andrew Dove got us onto the Black Brant which was great! Cheers Andrew! It stuck out like a sore thumb, it was very distinctive with its light belly patch and the very white ring around its neck. other birds in the field included lots of Dark Bellied Brent Geese, 7 Whooper Swans and some Mute Swans. Here are some record shots of the Black Brant.

Black Brant

Whooper Swans
After that we got news of a Great White Egret at Sammys Point so we headed on over but despite looking for almost an hour we had no luck but we did see lots of Little Egrets, Redshank and Dunlin.
Afterwards we went to look for the 2 Snow Buntings of the Blue Bell car park on the beach. It didn't take long for them to appear. They flew towards us and landed right in front of us! Later they flew of further down the beach but eventually we found them again. A little while later some people from the observatory came down and tried to catch and ring them. After a good half and hour they managed to catch one of them. We then went to look for the second bird to try get some decent photos. It let us get very close, only a few feet away, it was really great to get so close to such a cracking little bird!

Snow Bunting
We then went back to the Blue Bell car park and in there they were showing the other Snow Bunting! It was brilliant to see it up close. What a little stunner!

Snow Bunting
We then went to get ready for the Premier of the Spurn Mig Fest DVD. We got a decent spot in Westmere Farm and sat down with our Pie and Peas ready to watch this great film. It was a fantastic way to sum up the Mig Fest and well done to the team who put it together. It was a brilliant film!
Day 2
This day was very quiet with the best bird probably being a Chiffchaff which we saw in some bushes next to the Blue Bell Café. We also saw a one legged Redshank from the Canal Scrape Hide. We had a look along the beach for the Snow Buntings but we had no luck at all.
It was a very good trip with tons of great birds and the DVD was great!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Wonderful Warblers!

I woke up this morning and got all the gear ready to go to Flamborough. I then went to check Rare Bird Alert to see if any Yellow Browed Warblers were around. I was scrolling through and I came across a Raddes Warbler which was at Flamborough so now I was even more excited! I couldn't wait to get there.

As soon as we arrived we went over to see if we could see the Raddes Warbler. After about 10mins we saw it very briefly in flight and then after that it didn't show for a while so we went to have a look in a different area a bit further down where a few birders were also looking. We waited and waited but nothing was happening, we were about to go when my Dad said "there it is"! It was slowly making its way along the gorse bushes, showing well at times. It is a very nice looking bird, it had bright orange legs which were very distinctive. Another great lifer to add and a fantastic little bird to see.

Raddes Warbler
We then moved on to see if we could see anything going over the sea. On the rocks below the cliffs there was Curlew, Oystercatcher, Gulls and my Dad spotted a male Eider sitting on the rocks which looked great through the scope. We then decided to go to Thornwick Pool but on the way back to the car we had a look in this little ditch where we had at least 4 Stonechat, a Whitethroat and lots of Dunnocks.
When we arrived at Thornwick Pool a man asked us "are you here for the Yellow Browed Warbler". We didn't even know that there was one in this area but we said yes anyway. The man then pointed us in the right direction. On the way to find it I spotted a Chiffchaff flitting around in some trees which was nice to see. We were unsure that we were in the right area but we started searching around but thankfully I spotted a tiny bird flying around in some Willows and I then managed to confirm it as the Yellow Browed Warbler! Views through the bins were great as it was pretty close. They are stunning little birds.
Yellow Browed Warbler
We then went to see what was viewable from the hide. From the hide there was Teal, Mallard, Moorhen and Coots. As we were about to leave a spotted a Barn Owl flying across the field behind the pool and then a few seconds later it was followed by another one! two Barn Owls hunting in the same field. Awesome! Every few minutes they kept coming back with voles and mice. We then found out they were going into the barn next to the hide so we were almost certain they were nesting! A great end to a superb day!

Barn Owls