Friday, 16 October 2015

Spurn weekend - 10-12th October 2015

 Jonnie Fisk was back from Norway for the weekend, so having got back very late from Turkey, I drove to Spurn with very little sleep for a weekend of birding. I had only planned on staying one night, but with conditions being very good, I ended up staying two nights and enjoyed some great birding with Jonnie and friends. Bird of the trip had to be Goldcrest with what seemed like several thousand being strewn across the peninsula with up for 50 in in single tree and up for 40 on a single garden lawn. It was like nothing I'd ever seen before and was truly remarkable!
 I found myself a nice tristis Chiffchaff which had a super dunnock-like call and proved to be very local and very popular. There were Bramblings and winter thrushes everywhere and we payed homage to a reasonably long-staying Richard's Pipit in the fields across the road from Westmere Farm.
 Late-afternoon on Saturday, an American Golden Plover was found at Kilnsea Wetlands which showed really well. As it flew off calling, it showed all the features you wished it would. It disappeared and then came back calling again. All of a sudden, there appeared to be a second bird next to the AGP. It looked fantastic, but then suddenly looked a lot bigger, plumper, shorter at the back and greyer. It looked a lot like a Grey Plover. It proved very educational and after a lot of scrutiny from some very good birders and a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, it lifted its wings to reveal a dusky underwing and there were indeed two American Golden Plovers next to eachother!
 Monday proved to be 'the day' with an early message of Radde's Warbler being caught at Church Field which was only my second and a very very stunning bird. It was a very bulky bird and that gingery colour is just out of this world. A dream bird to find for me, personally.
 Goldcrests were still everywhere and was still fantastic to see.
 Jonnie and I spent a little too long looking at a mini-flock of Blackbirds which mainly featured first winter males with all dark bills and showing off the best Blackbird plumage. Very smart birds

My only lifer of the weekend came in the form of a Red-flanked Bluetail which was initially found by Tim Jones in Church Field and became very elusive around the church area until ending up in the heligoland trap and was shown to the admiring twitchers. It was a first winter female and is arguably the 'most dull' one you can get. If that's dull, then I want to see a male because phwarrrr!

Jonnie and I went back to Preston on Monday night and enjoyed some food with my parents.