Thursday, 9 April 2015

Swillington, Spurn and a Sweet Surprise!

On a nice and sunny Sunday morning we took a little trip to Swillington Ings to see what we could find. We were hoping for maybe our first Swallows, possibly a fly over Osprey and some nice breeding plumaged Black Necked Grebes.

Throughout most of the day we kept our eyes to the sky just in case we even got a glimpse of a Swallow or an Osprey but we had no luck but a 'booming' Bittern was very nice to hear. Thankfully we did get to see the Black Necked Grebes and what little crackers they are, such nice birds. We saw 4 in total and 2 of them came a little closer than the others. After that we had a little drive over to Fairburn where we had a very interesting surprise, a Cetti's Warbler! Last time we saw one was in Cornwall a couple of years ago plus I was very surprised to see that they had moved this far north, a truly amazing surprise! On the feeders around Fairburn we had Reed Buntings and a Male Bullfinch. We also saw this very odd but incredible duck on one of the lakes, I think it was a hybrid of some sort but not sure, surely if birds had best hairstyle competition this would win.

Black Necked Grebes
Reed Bunting

Awesome duck!
On Tuesday we had a day trip to Spurn in hope of seeing Black Redstarts, Firecrests and hopefully some spring migrants. We parked at the Blue Bell car park and soon enough, more or less as soon as stepped out the car my Dad spotted a Black Redstart on the fence in front of the car! A superb start! It was very flighty but the main thing was that we had seen one! We were hoping to see an adult male Black Redstart as there had been a few around and they are stunning birds. We then headed over to the Kew Villa caravan site where we had our second Black Redstart of the day! This one was quite distant though and was even more flighty.
Black Redstart
Afterwards we had a look in the Kew ringing area where we were incredibly lucky! A Sparrow Hawk was in one of the traps! A great result plus soon enough someone was along to ring it. The bad thing was though 2 Starlings was in a smaller trap next to it and one found its way into the Sparrow Hawks trap.... As you probably thought it didn't really end well for the starling, the Sparrow Hawk didn't kill it but when we let it go it didn't look to clever. It was great to get to see the Sprawk so close but I bet the ringer wasn't to happy as it gave him a massive scratch on his face. Here is a couple of pics of when it was in the trap.

Sparrow Hawk
After that great moment we headed of to Sammy's Point to see what we could find. In the first 2 Paddocks there wasn't a thing but in the third one we had a bit more luck as I found a Goldcrest and another Black Redstart also my Dad flushed a Short Eared Owl from the nearby field! Unfortunately it was only a quick fly past but it was still great to see. The Black Redstart didn't stay long either but that was nice to see to. A little while after we went to go and look by the Riverside Hotel as a couple of days ago there was a Male and Female Black Redstart outside there. After only about 5mins of searching I spotted one on the rocks next to the Hotel, even though it was another female it was still very nice to see, we spent about an hour trying to photograph it but it was very flighty and it didn't come close very often but still great to see another one! 4 Black Redstarts in a day, brilliant!!!

Black Redstart