Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Five days at Spurn - day 1, Wednesday 23rd September

I think I could describe myself as a regular visitor to Spurn during the 70's and 80's but have been irregular since then. However, once a year I have done a weekend catch-up with friends from those earlier days, usually towards the end of October but this year we decided on the weekend of 25th September for a change. 
Reed Bunting - female ISO 400 1/1250 f7.1
Recently released from the restrictions of working for a living I went across early on the 16th September. A Bewick's Swan, the earliest recorded at Spurn had spent the last few days on the lagoons so that's where I started. 
There was a group of at least a dozen Reed Bunting in some dead buckthorn between two lagoons, a common bird both at Spurn and at home in the Peak District but it was a nice setting in the early morning light. This is a female, lacking the pale collar of the autumn male but they are not easy to age at this time. Familiarity with Reed Bunting is a pre-requisite for finding the rarer buntings for UK birders.
No sign of the Bewick's Swan but walking around the lagoons at juvenile Peregrine circled putting the Mallards and a lone Shoveler in to the air.
Peregrine juvenile ISO 400 1/1600 f8

Although not super close it was near enough to see all the markings, it looked small and was presumably a male.
I moved on to Sammy's Point, no sign of any migrants in a strong westerly wind but the rising tide was pushing the Golden Plover on to the neighbouring fields giving some good flight views of the flocks.
Golden Plover - ISO 800 1/1000 f10

Finally a walk around the Triangle brought me to the Canal Scrape where one of the sleeping swans looked small and long legged. After a short wait it raised its head revealing the yellow bill of the Bewick's Swan. The local Mutes weren't happy to have it share their pool and chased it around until it finally departed at 16:20 and left the area. 
Bewick's Swan chased by Mute ISO 500 1/640 f11
Bewick's Swan ISO 500 1/1000 f5.6
I parked up the camper at Kew bringing an end to day 1, no migrants of note but some interesting birds. A single Yellow-browed Warbler was seen during the day and a Jack Snipe came in off the sea so some birds to look for tomorrow.

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