Sunday, 16 October 2016

Spurn dripping with birds

What a day on the east coast! Having resisted the temptation to jump in the car and travel to Easington for the Siberian accentor as soon as it was reported on Thursday, I even managed to resist again on Friday despite all of the drooling tweets coming through from various friends on site, and I ended up instead having yet another look at the yellow-browed warbler at Houghton Green Pool. Today though I finally succumed and Ray and I headed over to Easington to have a look at a bird which just a week ago was a mega but which with news of yet another in Cleveland today is rapidly becoming just a good county tick, with three in a week. With 37 so far reported elsewhere in north west Europe, it seems possible that even more might be found over the next few days. How long before we get one in the north west? Got to see them while you can though, the Siberian accentor on Shetland last weekend was a first for Britain and it could be another 50 years before we get another! This might be a one off invasion year.

UK Life: 416 (Siberian accentor), Year: 250 (Siberian accentor, dusky warbler).

Edit 16/10/216: it's now four in a week with another bird seen in Durham.

The bird showed incredibly well for a species which is reputedly shy. Unfortunately though the light was very poor while we were watching it, so the photos are a disappointment.

It was one of those days you dream of at Spurn, literally dripping with birds. Goldcrests and robins everywhere, there must have been hundreds of each, every other bird we saw was a goldcrest or a robin. On the walk back to the car from watching the accentor we saw firecrest, yellow-browed warbler and lesser whitethroat, the latter looking suspiciously Siberian like, and then we drove to Kilnsea. We watched a very obliging shorelark near the car park, and then as we were having lunch 23 European white-fronted geese flew over.

After lunch we walked to the church yard where there was one of two Pallas's warblers showing well, and another yellow-browed warbler. Next into the Crown and Anchor car park where there was another firecrest and another yellow-browed warbler. It was that kind of day, everywhere you looked there were groups of birders watching something of interest. There were over 12,000 redwings seen, 1700 fieldfare and 400 each of blackbirds and song thrushes, and air was full of their seeps and cackles and ticks. A very exciting atmosphere when you could believe that anything was a possibility.

From the Crown and Anchor we walked along the sea bank towards the canal, on the way ignoring a small flock of brents that most likely contained the a reported black brant. Half way along we came across a very obliging dusky warbler, one of an incredible nine seen at Spurn today!

Finally we headed back to Easington for another look at the Siberian accentor before leaving. We found that the bird had moved, it was no longer in the car park of the Old School, it was now on the other side of the gas terminal fence and though still close was a far poorer view. On the walk back to the car we saw the lesser whitethroat again and a redstart.

We also missed Radde's warbler, great grey shrike, 3 little buntings, Richards pipit, jack snipe and a whole flock of bean geese, plus who knows what else on a day like today?

This dusky warbler at the canal performed very well and was one of nine seen at Spurn today. I heard it call a couple of times.

We saw two firecrests, one in Vicars Lane at Easington and this one in the Crown and Anchor car park at Kilnsea.

Goldcrest where everywhere, some just a couple of feet away. I had to put my camera into macro focusing mode to photograph this bird.

Shorelark. There had been up to 14 in the area, but this was the only one which stuck.

1st winter male redstart.

The Crown and Anchor at Kilnsea.

From about noon onwards the clouds broke and it was a glorious sunny afternoon, no wind and warm enough to walk around without a coat. Not bad for the east coast in mid-October!

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