Er Neill picked me up at stupid o’clock this morning and with Mike Stocker and Trops we whizzed cross-country to spend the day at Spurn, enjoying warm, sunny conditions and a balmy south easterly – no mega rares, but a good procession of common migrants.
Before we got there though we called in at Sunk Island to dip the long staying Black Stork, and with commendable consistency we managed the same trick on the way out in the late afternoon (none of us needed it, so it wasn’t a big problem, more a minor irritation).
First stop in the a.m. was Sammy’s Point, where squadrons of hirundines and Mipits were moving through, with alba, Grey and Yellow Wagtails, Siskin, Redpoll, and a single calling Lapland Bunting.
As Whimbrel and Greenshank called away on the Humber mud, we watched Redstarts, Pied Flys, Willow Warblers and Whinchats zipping about the scrub feeding away, while a Short Eared Owl patrolled after a spot of brekkie.
From there we headed down to the Crown and Anchor to walk the area around Beacon Lane, the Church Field (we’re all “Friends of Spurn” now baby), the Triangle and Canal Zone.
More Whinchats, Redstarts and Spot Flys, with Kingfisher, Brent Geese, Redpoll, Siskin, Goldcrest, sherbet dip young Willow Warblers and Lesser Whitethroat.
Red Admirals, Speckled Woods and Migrant Hawkers galore, and just as thoughts were veering towards that dangerous “a quick beer wouldn’t hurt would it?” territory, Alan Wright and David Nickeas (two more west coast commuters on the migration express today) kindly called us to let us know about a fine young male Red Backed Shrike down at Kilnsea.
Shrike beats pints, and we had good views of the critter as it hunted one of the gardens before slipping out of sight.
Better views than my crappy “into the light” digiscoping, that’s for sure.
Willow Warblers, Pied and Spotted Flys in the garden too, before it was time to dip the Black Stork again and then head for home.
Always a pleasure to bird Spurn – especially when things are moving.
Thanks to Neill for the drive and everyone else for the laughs and company.