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Sunday, 28 October 2012

A grey day

Me and Mark went back to Spurn today hoping that the two Olive Backed Pipits found yesterday afternoon at Sammy’s Point would still be there, it was a good start to the day, we stopped off at Easington Cemetery to find the Great Grey Shrike found a couple of days ago was still present and showing well in the hedges opposite then as we set out from the car park at Sammy’s a Ring Ouzel was posing nicely in the first field but all good things come to an end and there was no sign of the Pipits this morning, we had a good stomp around but there was little showing although four Pale Bellied Brents were on the Humber and when we returned to the car there was a small flock of Twite in the car park, then news broke of a Little Bunting down Vicars Lane, we shot off there but unfortunately the bird had been flushed long before anyone else got there and flew off into the housing estate never to be seen again. With a good number of Little Auks moving over the last couple of days we decided on a look out to sea next, there were a few Goldeneye on the sea, a lot of Starlings coming in off and a Slavonian Grebe drifted south but it seemed we had missed the Little Auk passage, we headed off to the Canal Scrape just as the afternoon showers started but there was nothing posing there today, the Jack Snipe was still there but right at the back, a Water Rail dashed between the reeds and 16 Bramblings dropped in briefly. When the rain eased off we went back to Easington and had another look at the Shrike, there was also a common Redstart in the Cemetery and a Black Redstart near the church but as we’re back to the dark nights, the light levels soon went forcing an early finish.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Still misty on the Eastern front

Took a couple of days off this week to go birding with Mark who is on holiday all week, the weather forecast looked really good for the East coast but unfortunately the mist persisted. We headed to Flamborough on Tuesday but it was really foggy all day nevertheless there were loads of winter Thrushes, Robins and Goldcrests about as well as a few Chiffchaffs and Brambling but we never found anything better with them and with news piling in of rarities both to the North and the South it became quite disheartening by mid afternoon.

Flamborough birds in the murk

a rather interesting looking Chiffchaff

Looked a good candidate for Siberian but never called

a more typical individual

Wednesday was a better day, with news of a Bluethroat at Easington late Tuesday it wasn't hard to decide on Spurn. We arrived at Easington with news the bird had been seen so we headed off and joined the small group of birders gathered at the Northern end of the Lagoons but no one there had seen it at that point, we started to scan, there were a few Robins flitting around, a handful of Goldcrests moved through and a Wheatear skitted around the beach behind us, but no Bluethroat, eventually we decided to move a bit further back to a small spit of sand that would allow us to see further into the corner of the Lagoon and as we did two birds flew up, one was a Robin the other showed some nice rusty patches to the tail base, we'd got it, it initially flew up over the bank but it wasn't long before it returned to the same area, over the next half hour or more we enjoyed good views as it fed in and out of the edge of the reeds, occasionally chased off by Robins it always returned to its favoured area, a bit far for the camera and it was never out in the open long enough to try and digi-scope it. We carried on to Spurn and took a walk around the Sandy Beaches/Beacon Lane area, again there were hundreds of Thrushes and Robins, a Black Redstart was on the Concrete blocks and we flushed a Short Eared Owl at the far end, we eventually ended up at the Canal Scrape where we hoped some Thrushes might be close to the hide, they were plus there was also two or three Ring Ouzels here although they didn't come close, and a Jack Snipe flew in then disappeared then gave itself up when it started bobbing, several Swallows passing through were a surprise. The weather forecast had been for mist clearing in the afternoon, it was the other way round, it had been a clear if cloudy morning but then the mist rolled back in around lunchtime and although not as bad as at Flamborough the day before there was a fine drizzle in it which eventually started soaking everything. We had a drive down the Point and the Thrush numbers were just incredible, they were all along the peninsula, quite a few Bramblings too, the tide was in so there was a good selection of waders by the Narrows and at the Point there was a cracking male Black Redstart and a couple of Mealy Redpolls, but again the real biggie failed to materialise.

didn't come close

a master of disguise

rather bedraggled in the fine drizzle

oh where's the sun when you want it