Last weekend I went to Spurn Point to see what birds would be there. Spurn in the migration season is always special, there’s always something rare! I am really lucky to live relatively close and have this facility at my disposal, I really should go more often.
When we arrived the wind was bracing to say the least, even knocking us off-balance at times and the sky was a brooding mix of deep blue and charcoal-grey clouds, stretching out over my head like an immense stormy veil. The day, bird wise, started off very quietly, a visit to the seawatch hide turned up nothing and the hide down the road gave us very good views of flying Little Egrets and a Redshank showing really well. Redshanks are not the most exciting of birds but it was nice to see one so close that you could appreciate the extremely intricate patterns in its plumage.
When looking for the Black Redstart (I didn’t see it in the end) in the caravan site (at the ‘tip’) I noticed a Weasel slinking about underneath a bush. A caravan site isn’t the first place you would expect to see a Weasel! It seemed to target a flock of House Sparrows but they didn’t notice it or didn’t seem to care. Whatever the case it was not successful.
Once we got to Kilnsea Wetlands my luck started to change, to start off a flock of fieldfares flew overhead, their conspicuous white underwings flashing on and off like beacons in the subdued light. As soon as we got in the hide I got a lifer, a Greenshank. It was paler and less elegant than I expected but, in fairness, it was understandably huddled up against the biting wind. Up until then I thought I would have gone to Spurn twice in a row without getting a lifer, which is near impossible for someone with such a limited list as me. The pools were absolutely teeming with other bids as well, such as Golden and Grey Plovers, Mute Swans, Wigeon, Shelduck and one Brent Goose. A really nice way to end the day was to see two Short-Eared Owls masterfully quartering the ditches. Although their colours were dampened by the falling light levels they were still a sight to behold, floating above the ground effortlessly. This was the first time I had seen Shorties flying, I had only previously seen one in late winter earlier this year near Bempton roosting in a gorse bush.
Record shot of a Short-Eared Owl near Bempton earlier this year.