It’s hard to over-exaggerate just how totally splendiferous it was to watch a Siberian Accentor shuffling around with Dunnocks in the half-light of a grey, dreary Easington early morning today – not as bright as the Shetland individual perhaps, but every bit as mind-blowing.
Slick marshalling by the team from Spurn Bird Observatory meant that despite Easington being busier than rush hour on the M62, Alan Wright and I managed to arrive at about 7.30am, allowing me to park in the outer suburbs of Hull, walk into the village, join the well-ordered queueing system, and watch the bird (MEGA MEGA MEGA) by 0830am.
We enjoyed it so much that we went to the back of the 300-strong queue and waited to watch it again in the grainy morning light.
You can’t have too much of a good thing.
Many thanks to everyone at Spurn Bird Observatory for their efforts – it was a superb job.
With the biggy safely trousered, I drove onto Spurn and Kilnsea, where scores of Redwings were zipping through, Fieldfares chack chack chacked away, Goldcrests and Robins flitted everywhere and a conveniently tame Shorelark took the edge off the cold easterly by the Bluebell car park.
Mealy Redpolls, Bramblings, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Redwings, Fieldfares and Robins, Robins, Robins were in the hedgreows between there and Kilnsea and a quick call to Church Field produced Yellow-browed Warbler and a fine Dusky Warbler on parade courtesy of the ringing team.
There were hundreds of birders on the ground (I heard an estimated 2,000 people filed past the accentor today), so it wasn’t surprising that more and more birds were turning up – Firecrests and more Yellow-broweds around Cliff Farm’s marvellous garden, a nice flock of about 20 European Whitefronts flying down the Humber estuary, Brents, Ring Ouzels on Beacon Lane and Redstarts in the rocks along the Humber shore.
A diversion to Sammy’s Point at lunchtime brought us many more Ring Ouzels (at least 8 birds in the scrub there), with Chiffchaff, Goldcrests and Robins everywhere.
A Pied Flycatcher joined them just below the car park.
After that I drove back onto the peninsula for a look at a flock of nine Bean Geese playing hide and seek in the marsh edge north of The Warren – eight Tundra and one Taiga apparently…one certainly had a great big bright yellow conk and was swishing its backside about like Mae West in her Sunday best bustle, so it may well have been a fabulous fabalis…(upper pic below).
Perhaps one of the best things about Spurn today was the fact that almost EVERYONE was there…I got to say hello to folk I ain’t bumped into for years.
Thanks everyone, great to see you all again (you know who you are, you were there).
With Redwing overload reaching critical mass there was just time to pop into the Crown and Anchor car park late afternoon to finally catch up with the hyperactive Pallas’s Warbler we’d been managing to miss all day – a vision in green and yellow scooting through the branches like a demented stripey hummingbird.
I pointed the wheels towards Hull and the road west by 5pm, wondering what else is going to pop up this weekend – it’s only just getting started after all……
Wouldn’t be surprised if more Sibe Accentors are on the menu (Scandi-Germany is infested with ’em), or at least something of an equally earth-shattering stature.