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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

A good day at Spurn

Classic weather conditions for drift migrants this weekend and Saturday and particularly Sunday had seen some big arrivals along the East Coast particularly of Wrynecks, 27 at Spurn alone on the Sunday, I was out with Mark on the Bank Holiday Monday and anywhere on the East Coast would have been OK but we decided on Spurn. Upon arrival we thought we’d do a seawatch but it was surprisingly quiet considering the easterly blow, a few Duck flocks and a couple of Arctic Skua's were about it so when news came over of a Subalpine Warbler at Sammy’s it didn’t take much to spur us into action, there were a good few common migrants around including Redstarts, Spotted and Pied Flycatchers, Whinchats and Wheatears but the Subalpine Warbler proved rather elusive and we only managed fleeting glimpses of the bird, we gave it a while but with news of Wrynecks and Icterine Warblers etc filtering through we were soon heading back to Spurn. A small group of people gathered along the road between the Church and the Bluebell Cafe alerted us to a rather obliging Wryneck which was dropping out of the hedge and onto the path giving incredible views then after dash up to Canal Head looking for a Common Rosefinch that had done a bunk it was back to that road where an Icterine Warbler was performing very nicely in bushes near Sunnycliffe Farm. Next up it was down the point to post 61 where a very smart Red Breasted Flycatcher was feeding in the bushes there and another Icterine showed well, we didn't linger on the point as it was very busy with day trippers, we headed back out to the Triangle area where we caught up with the juv Common Rosefinch that was feeding on thistle heads in one of the fields, then after refreshments at the Bluebell Cafe we went on to check out Kilnsea Wetlands as there had been Little Stint and Curlew Sandpipers there recently but at that stage of the afternoon the tide was out so there wasn’t many waders at all, there were several Little Egrets about and a juv Little Tern remained on Beacon Ponds although when an adult went over calling it was off, we ended the day back at Sammy’s where we got the Red Backed Shrike we’d missed in the morning but there had been no further news on the Subalp. 
even though the Subalpine didn't show well a few Butterflies did

a very obliging Wryneck

and Icterine Warbler although difficult to photograph amongst the leaves

RB Fly kept its distance

as did the RB Shrike

last bird of the day as we got back to the car

Friday, 23 August 2013

Local G W Egret

I was up early and out to Wheldrake Ings this morning for a Great White Egret that although has been around for a week or more has only been showing early morning then disappearing off somewhere else for the rest of the day. I arrived at the Pool Hide before 7am but it was a misty start and you couldn’t even see the back of the Pool, however it soon started to lift but as stuff at the back became visible there were only a handful of Grey Herons showing there, the day started to brighten up and the hide filled up with a few more local birders including Messrs J.A. Booth, C Gomersall and J Ledley and the Egret eventually emerged from the bottom corner of the Pool where it had obviously been feeding away out of sight, it then performed admirably although favouring the back corner of the Pool, it did however get spooked a couple of times and on one occasion landed a bit nearer, another time it flew off and looked to be on its way as per its usual routine but then turned around and came back and indeed was still present and looking fairly settled when I left around 8-40am, there were also a few Waders present including two Ruff, Greenshank, Common and Green Sandpipers, Snipe etc and a Cream Crown Marsh Harrier was patrolling plus Sparrowhawk and Hobby went over.
Grey Heron emerging out of the mist

first views of the Egret

it then got spooked

and landed a bit closer


the two Ruff

after another fly around

it returned to its corner

but then had a wander

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Two Barred

I was out with Mark on Sunday and we went off to Broomhead Reservoir near Sheffield first thing where up to seven Two Barred Crossbills have been associating with 100+ Common Crossbills and frequenting a small area with Larch Trees at the Western end. Now the trouble with the Bird Information Services is they often give a false impression of how things are and what we thought was going to be quite straight forward soon changed upon meeting birders who were there for the second or third time and others who had waited for five hours or more for a sighting. There had been no sightings before we arrived so we joined a group of birders stood just outside the main area offering a much wider view and eventually after several groups of Common Crossbills went over a juv Two Barred was picked out perched on top of one of the trees, fairly distant but we got good scope views then 10 mins later a couple of birders came out from the main area and told us a male, female and two juvs were showing well in there, we headed in but unfortunately the flock took flight as we got there although one was making its very distinctive “trumpet” call as they flew off, we hung around for a couple more hours hoping they would return but they didn’t and as boredom set in we decided to cut our losses and have a change of scenery. We headed off to Old Moor Wetlands where we had a fairly steady afternoons birding with the bulk of sightings from the Wath Ings Hide, including several species of Wader, lots of juv Grey Herons, a couple of Little Egrets plus the Spoonbill and also a nice posing Kingfisher right outside the hide but although the Night Heron had given itself up the day before it had gone back into its usual routine of hiding away during the day.
Eclipse Ducks

changing light

it caught several fish

give it a bash

then down the hatch