Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Five days at Spurn - day 2, Thursday 24th September

Early start and I was in the Canal Scrape hide before first light. There were 2 Common Snipe right in front of the hide but no sign of Jack. The snipe moved off before the sun was fully up but got some reasonable photos anyway thanks to the technology in modern cameras.
Common Snipe ISO 5000 1/400 f4

Walking back around the Triangle a pale blob at the back of a field on Easington Road turned out to be a Barn Owl, it flew up several times before landing again and eventually flew in my direction. It was 10 am with a clear blue sky and with the sun behind me the owl looked amazing.

Barn Owl ISO 320 1/2000 f8
It moved through the back of the neighbouring field and went out of site.
One of the big changes, bird wise, since I was a more regular visitor to Spurn is the increase in Mediterranean Gulls. I found a juvenile on the shore at Easington Lagoons in the early seventies which was a real rarity at the time. Now the maximum day count is over 100 birds and I had already seen several birds but decided to head back to the lagoons in the hope of getting some photos.
There were at least a dozen birds milling around out at sea and occasional coming on to the shoreline and flying up in to the sky. It wasn't until I had some photos that I could see that they were catching craneflies which were being blown out to see on the strong westerly winds.

Mediterranean Gull adult ISO 400 1/1000 f9
I had only seen a couple of Chiffchaff and single Wheatear and Redwing so migrants still in very short supply. There was still one Yellow-browed Warbler in the area but so far I had had no luck in finding it.

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