Trip reports

Field Trip - Spurn Point

Little ringed plover wading in shallow water

Sunday, 20 September 2015

The sun greeted us and the tide was in on arrival at the Spurn Observatory and expectations were running high for a good day's birding. The group split up, with some venturing towards Spurn Point itself, whilst others spread out to explore the many habitats that make Spurn a birders' paradise.

The first port of call for many was the area directly west of the observatory hut, where a great number of waders were feeding on the mud flats. These included Oystercatcher, Ringed, Golden and Grey Plovers, Lapwing, Knot, Sanderling, Dunlin, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Curlew, Redshank, Spotted Redshank and Turnstone - quite a mixture! On Canal Scrape were Shoveler, a secretive Snipe, Shelduck, Wigeon, Gadwall, Little Grebe, Teal and Mallard.

Migrant Hawker and Common Darter Dragonflies were also seen close to the hide. Other invertebrates seen during the day included Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood and Painted Lady butterflies.

Spotted out at sea were Mediterranean, Black-headed, Common, Lesser Black-backed, Great Black-backed and Herring Gulls together with Common and Sandwich Terns. A Common Scoter also put in an appearance.

Birds of prey about were Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Kestrel, Merlin and a Long-eared Owl. A good number of hirundines were gathering on the telephone wires ready for migration and Swallows, Sand Martins and House Martins as well as a few Swifts were on the wing. Bewick's Swan, Brent Geese and Greylag Geese were also spotted in small numbers.

A group of mostly Meadow Pipits were seen trapped in a mist net set by the observatory and this gave a small party from our group some concern as to the time they were left captured. The ringers were alerted to the distress of the birds, after which they quickly started recording and releasing these - to our great relief. Skylarks were also around, as were Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Whinchat, Stonechat and Wheatear.

Other birds seen during the day included Reed Warbler, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit and Great Tit. Several finches frequented the gorse areas including Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Siskin, Linnet and Redpoll. Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail and Pied Wagtail were also seen. Other wildlife spotted included two Grey Seals, a Weasel and a Water Vole.

All in all a grand day out, with plenty about.

36 people attended
90 bird species seen