Horizons broadening

Quiet as high summer can be (Marshside dowitchers excluded), Spurn is always worth a visit.
With the tide out it was a question of scanning distant Gannets in the wibbly wobbly North Sea, and enjoying congregations of hirundines and young warblers.
When the tide rose Barwits, Dunlin, Redshank, Knot and Whimbrel crowded in as the mud disappeared under the gentle waves yesterday.
When the Humber filled up and covered the mudflats birds were pushed in from the estuary and yesterday evening Kilnsea Wetlands was buzzing.
Nothing rare, but just a pleasing gathering of birds.
Up to 100 Little Gulls swept in, pulsing in in groups of up to 20 birds, with their marvellous tern-like calls. Roosts of Dunlins with Greenshanks were nearby, Med Gulls jostled Sandwich Terns and other gulls for roost space, and ducks were in ominous eclipse plumage.
The field edges carefully managed with swathes of wildflowers held many Ringlets and Meadow Browns, although the remarkable Norfolk Hawker which appeared a day or two back had evaporated – an incredible record.
Likewise the Cattle Egret seen earlier in the day (still a Spurn mega) had melted way too.
The Little Gulls were the business though – it’s been quite some time since I’ve seen more than small groups of these gorgeous birds.

Where do they come from? Post breeding dispersal from Scandiland mebbe?
Non-breeders popping in from the North Sea?
As I said, about 100 of the gems last night, but only three that I could see that were in less than adult plumage.
Wherever they originated from, they more than justified the drive over yesterday.
The wetlands fizzed with activity as I scanned them with Neill Hunt, who was happily tootling round his hideaway on a nippy electric bike.
As we admired the Little Terns on Beacon Ponds from the north bank I ‘scoped back onto the wetlands and picked up a dozing adult Yellow Legged Gull, its darker mantle standing out from nearby snoozing Herring Gulls in the failing light.

Cue fuzzy evening zoom shot…

It felt good to return even for the shortest of visits… it won’t be long before things pick up again here.
Don’t forget to let me know what you’re seeing.

5 thoughts on “Horizons broadening

  1. We had a male Marsh Harrier from the Wetlands at 7pm this evening, two Yellow Legged Gulls, 16 Med Gulls, Little Gulls, Green Sand and plenty of common waders

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Monday morning on a rising tide between the old lifeboat station and the Alt: around 130-150 Sandwich Terns at the edge of the tide with many in juvenile plumage. Can’t be more accurate about numbers because the roost – if you can call it that – was in constant motion with groups of 20-50 constantly arriving and leaving. They seemed very flighty although happily there was no disturbance of any kind. Further along the beach however a youngster was having a wonderful time chasing the Sanderlings. A brief, and I thought, polite word to his, erm, carer? Protector? Minder? Elder and better? was greeted disinterest then abuse… Thankfully they then turned back towards Lifeboat Road.

    Liked by 1 person

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