Snow Bunts and whale bones

Two days at Spurn were somewhat stymied by a raging north westerly which put the blocks on autumn passage, and there were lean pickings offshore too.

But with the wind dropping this morning conditions improved and Neill Hunt and I headed out on a Snow Bunt hunt on the beach off Beacon Ponds.

As we walked down the sands the waves were stunning, their crests whipped back by the westerly and birds were starting to move again.

I was surprised to come across a whale vertebrae washed up by the surf and another a short time later – cetacean jigsaw pieces!!!!

Neill discovered the less appetising remains of a whale which presumably the vertebrae had come from.

Could they be the long decomposing remains of one of the ten Sperm Whales that beached just up the coast in December 2020? (that was the theory on site from some Spurn regulars anyway).

Rather less grisly were three Snow Buntings which flew in to feed at the top of the beach about half a mile from the end of Beacon Lane – we found another two a short time later, and with 13 having been seen coming in off the North Sea earlier in the morning it was a good day for snowflakes.

I grabbed a bit of windswept video in the morning – great birds, dodgy video on YouTube here.

A morning seawatch yesterday provided 7 Bonxies, auks (but none of the hoped for Little Auks), Red Throated Divers, Eider, Harbour Porpoise and a few Common Scoter, but the wind kept most other areas hard to work.

One of the local Barn Owls was gamely trying to hunt around Kilnsea as I arrived at 0830.

In the shelter of the Kew Villa Garden were Blackcaps, Chiffchaff and Goldcrests and a few Brambling were in there today.

More Redwings and Fieldfares were beginning to arrive and although Hawfinch, Little and Lapland Buntings were dug out by the regulars and it felt autumn was starting up again after a good wind-blasting, I had to head home through the M62 Friday pm can jam.

Muchas gracias to Neill for putting me up as usual….