The wind had been blowing from the east for almost three weeks with migrants down the east coast from Scotland to Kent. I decided, upon consultation with the three other people who had shown an interest in the trip – Pete, Jackie and Deryck, to bring the trip forward a week from 1st November to 25th October.
After checking what was about it was decided to call first at Bempton Cliffs RSPB reserve as there was a Red-flanked Bluetail that had been there for two or three days. There had been an influx on the Yorkshire coast for the past 10 days with three reported from Spurn at the same time earlier in the week.
We arrived at Bempton in quite a strong westerly wind to be told – yes it had been seen that morning. We search for almost 2 hours but eventually gave up. We did manage to see a distant Red-backed Shrike, Rock Pipit and Rock Dove.
We left Bempton to go to Spurn calling at Hornsea on the way were 7 Red-Breasted Merganser was seen.
Approaching Spurn 2 Roe Deer were seen in the fields near Kilnsea.
Arriving at Spurn we decided to drive to the point. On the way Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit and Turnstone were seen on the mud. In the dunes early Redwing were seen.
Before leaving we called at the hide hear the reserve entrance where we were treated to two Jack Snipe and Water Rail.
Overall 64 species were seen with eight added to the trip total that now stands at 165.
We left Nottingham later than usual at about 8.30 as the boat didn’t sail until 4.00 p.m.
It was decided that we went first to Flamborough Head to see what was there. We arrived at about 11.00 am after a short stop on the way. We had heard that there was a Barred Warbler in the area but were not sure where about. We made a few enquiries and we soon looking at a splendid Barred Warbler.
Three of us decided that we would take a walk round the headland to see what else was about. Brian went back to the car as his leg was still in plaster after breaking it.
We had good views of Red Admiral and Painted Lady butterflies along the road before turning off to go across the fields. It was a hot still day and there was not a deal about until we reached the cliffs were Shag and a few waders were seen. As we walked along the cliff top path we noticed a group of birders looking into the field on our left. Upon reaching then we realised a juvenile Great Skua was sitting in the middle of the field. After a search of over half an hour we found singles of Lapland Bunting and Snow Bunting.
After lunch in the car park we made our way to Bridlington for the boat, hoping to see Purple Sandpiper on the harbour walls but to no avail. As we were waiting to board the boat we were surprised to be joined by Pete Smith and his wife, Chris.
The boat trip was very quiet with only a single Shearwater that was not seen by most people but a single Great Skua that gave us great views of how it chased and harried birds for them to discharge their food.
Gannet, Kittiwake and Fulmar were added to this years trips list making a total of 157.
Grey Seal was added to the mammal list while Red Admiral was added to the butterfly list.
A Cetti’s Warbler was singing quite strongly in the Deep Pit this morning. The Slurry is still frozen solid but both the Large Gravel Pit and the Deep Pit have small areas of open water in which all the birds are gathering. A few Redwing and Fieldfare in the the hawthorn bushes but not the large flocks of the past few days. JMD.
There were good numbers of Redwing around 350-400, 50+ Fieldfare, 1 Peregrine sat on the arms of one of the pylons on Severn Trent land, over 350 E.Teal, 40+Greenfinch near Rossi’s,a single Common Snipe, 2 Water Rail, 1 Cettis Warbler calling briefly from the Deep Water Lagoon bank, 75+Goldfinch mixed in with smaller numbers of Greenfinch and Linnet.(DM)
It was beautiful at the Lagoons today. The Slurry is completely frozen and the Large Gravel Pit it partially frozen so the birds are more concentrated. The cold weather has pushed in large numbers of winter thrushes particularly Redwing and Fieldfare attracted by the abundance of hawthorn berries and in S.T. fields a flock of approximately 130 Golden Plover was resting. JMD.
An adult winter Mediterranean Gull was seen on the Large Gravel Pit this afternoon. RW.
During this morning’s Bird Count a male Goosander flew over the Large Gravel Pit and approximately fifty Pink-footed Geese flew west. There were good numbers of Redwings and Blackbirds and a Buzzard circled quite low over the Slurry Lagoon. The Cetti’s Warblers were heard in the Slurry Lagoon reed bed and the Deep pit and around eight Water Rail were also heard. The large Gravel Pit also had four Golden-eye on it and thirty-six Wigeon. PS
About 70 Wigeon flew NE over the reserve this evening. As dusk approached Redwings came into the Deep Pit scrub to roost. Up to seven Water Rail were calling and three Cetti’s Warblers. As it got darker a Tawny Owl hooted. PS.
A Peregrine flew to a pylon near the railway line this morning and rested for about twenty minutes, giving good views through a telescope. PS.
A Caspian Gull was spotted amongst the Great Black-backs and Herring Gulls on the Slurry Lagoon this evening. Three Cetti’s Warblers were heard and five Water Rail. There were also good numbers of thrushes, especially Redwings and Blackbirds. PS.