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Monday, 28 September 2015

A better than expected day at Spurn

I was out with Pete Watson today and we thought we’d do Spurn, there had been a couple of Yellow Browed Warblers yesterday and Easterlies forecast although it was going to be a nice day so we didn't expect anything great, it was a foggy start but had cleared by the time we got there, we started at Canal Scrape looking for a couple of Jack Snipe but they had hunkered themselves down and we couldn’t find them, thought we’d try again later. We went off to the Warren for our first Yellow Browed Warbler, a bit distant but it showed well, a second bird was trapped while we were there but happy with our views of the first one we went back to walk the triangle, a handful of common migrants were seen then our second Yellow Browed was in the Garden on the corner and across the road in the Crown and Anchor car park, while watching that we were informed a Red Breasted Flycatcher had been found along Beacon Lane, we high tailed it down there but found the bird had become rather elusive however as the crowd thinned out and after a patient wait it started showing well again, a nearby radio crackled Arctic Warbler at Driftwood Caravan site so off we went, smart bird showed well, a lifer for Pete, also our third Yellow Browed nearby and a Med Gull flew over. Mid-afternoon found us back at Canal Scrape, still no sign of any Jack Snipe but a Redstart and another Red Breasted Flycatcher were in the bushes there, it was on to Kilnsea Wetlands next where we enjoyed the spectacle of hundreds of Redshanks coming in to roost accompanied by smaller numbers of several other Wader species plus Little Egrets, last count was an impressive 28 birds, we ended the day at Sammy’s Point where a Barred Warbler eventually gave itself up, a fitting end to a really good better than expected day. 
Mute Swan


Little Grebe, but no sign of Jack Snipe on Canal Scrape

distant Yellow Browed near the Warren

some superb Migrant Hawkers around

Red Breasted Flycatcher down Beacon Lane

Out of the blue, Arctic Warbler

plus yet another Yellow Browed

23 of the 28 Little Egrets

Barred Warbler at Sammies

a fitting end to the day

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Quiet day on the East Coast

Very quiet day at Flamborough today, no sign of yesterdays Barred Warbler and the few birds that were around weren't exactly cooperative, a Yellow Browed Warbler was found in the hedge near the Lighthouse late morning but didn't show during the hour or so I was there, a good passage of Pinkfeet though with skeins passing high overhead throughout the day.

dashing between the reeds at Thornwick Pool

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

North East wanderings

I had a trip up to Whitburn Coastal Park this morning where a Buff Breasted Sandpiper has been showing well the last couple of days but despite a good scan of the ploughed field it been frequenting there was no sign of it today, nothing much else in the area so after lunch I headed back South calling at Blackhall Rocks, just a couple of Eiders, Hartlepool Headland, very quiet, Newburn Bridge, a couple of Med Gulls and some Common Terns on the beach, North Gare, dark clouds looming, I high tailed it to Saltholme and sat out the shower in the Phil Stead Hide then when it had passed I went for a quick look at the redhead Smew on the main lake finishing off with what is possibly my sixth Great White Egret of the year on the East Pool, certainly the closest one though.

Med Gulls at Newburn Bridge

and Common Terns

Black Tailed Godwit at Phil Stead hide

and Curlew

redhead Smew Saltholme main lake

Herons and Egrets on the East Pool

closest I've ever got to one of these

Monday, 21 September 2015

Another Sunshine Holiday

Another sunshine Holiday with the Mrs last week this time to Salou on the Costa Daurada, Spain, very little around the resort just the usual Pigeons and Doves, House Sparrows with the occasional Serins, Blackbirds, Great Tits and Monk Parakeets, Spotless Starlings were very much in evidence though as were Magpies which I thought unusual, I have generally only see one or two if that around the Med on previous Holidays, nothing much doing on the sea neither just a handful of Yellow Legged Gulls and Sandwich Terns, most noteworthy though was a steady passage of Hirundines throughout the week. I had half a day out birding as usual and had a look around some scrub adjacent to the Port Aventura Golf Course, again pretty quiet birdwise but I added Buzzard, Kestrel, Hoopoe, Redstart, Sardinian Warbler and Goldfinch to the list, highlight of the afternoon being an impressive flock of 45-50 Alpine Swifts moving through, a good few Butterflies around as well including some smart Swallowtails, Long Tailed Blues and Clouded Yellows plus a Fritillary Sp which unfortunately just kept on going also a few Red Veined and Yellow Winged Darters about, on the subject of Dragonflies an interesting one was seen when we paid a visit to Tarragona , a colonizer from North Africa an Orange-winged Dropwing was by an ornamental pool there.
Habitat shot with Port Aventura in the background

quite a few Swallowtails bombing around

and Long Tailed Blues

Red Veined Darters

the Yellow Winged proved camera shy then I thought I'd bagged one

but it turned out to be a rather Yellow (Red) Veined Darter

Orange-winged Dropwing in Tarragona

Sandwich Tern on a bouy