Back To The Bird Filled Spurn Area For Amazing Magical Migration 6 October 2020




This lovely Spotted Flycatcher posed for us in the bare branches.



After breakfast we headed south towards the Spurn Point area to look for more migrant birds on our “Tour for Two” with Mike and Rachel. On route we heard a Red-breasted Flycatcher had been reported at nearby Easington so we popped in for a look – no sign and nobody on site who had seen the bird, hmm bit like yesterday! But there were migrants about and we watched a lovely Spotted Flycatcher in some bare trees and there were Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs moving through the bushes. The trees around the car park were very busy with birds, Tree Sparrows, Blackcaps, Redwing, more Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs and frustratingly a “reed” Warbler that only showed briefly and not long enough to identify. Easington does turn up great birds but it has to said it is not scenic – most of the birding takes place along the ugly high-security fence that surrounds the very industrial gas terminal and security cameras follow your every move! So we headed off further south towards Spurn in search of more migrants.

Dotterel Sept Gt Orme 10

A juvenile Dotterel this one from our libary the Spurn bird to far for a photo.



We arrived at Kilnsea Wetlands just north of Spurn and the car park was full but we parked off the road on the verge, advantage of a 4x4. The reason so many folks were here – a Dotterel was in the ploughed field just south of the scrape where we hoped to see lots of birds. A short walk and we joined folks looking at the Dotterel, well at first a ploughed field, the bird was so well camouflaged against the brown earth! But we followed the directions and saw the wader hunkered down in a furrow. Through the scopes we could see the beautiful marking of this juvenile bird such a gorgeous creature. As the Dotterel was not moving we turned around and looked at the wetland area without having to move position! What a wonderful spot, Dotterel to the south bird packed wetland to the north.

On the lagoon it was another case of where to look first, so many birds to enjoy here! A Curlew Sandpiper was one of the closest birds to our position so we got the scopes on that first and enjoyed frame filling views – a bird Mike and Rachel had hoped to see on the this trip so great to have such good views. Next to the Curlew Sandpiper were two juvenile Knot and just across from them a beautiful juvenile Grey Plover all these waders had travelled huge distances to meet here on this pool in Yorkshire, mind-blowing stuff. A Little Stint was picked out on the far side of the pool by a couple stood nearby and as always it was great sharing their sightings and excitement with them and others. A lot of the fun in bird-watching comes from sharing the joy with other folks both in the field and now a-days on-line too. Five Ruff were on a grass bank resting amongst a small flock of Black-tailed Godwits. Of course all the time we were checking on the Dotterel just behind us who it must be said did not do a lot despite looking so stunning, occasionally moving position slightly and then back to dozing. Lots of gulls on the pool which included at least eleven Mediterranean Gulls this gave us a good chance to compare the plumages of this so variable species.

A big flock of Linnets flew in and landed in the same field as the Dotterel and amongst the Linnets were Goldfinches and Greenfinches, this area has so many birds! As we headed back to the car a lovely Northern Wheatear hopped along the edge of the field just in front of us as gangs of Skylarks flew low over-head just wonderful birding.

As so very often when enjoying lots of great birds the time had just flown by and we headed down to the Crown and Anchor pub for lunch. This time we opted to eat in as some heavy showers were rattling through, it was warm and dry inside and the food was good.

After lunch we birded the lane east from pub and just as last time we were here progress was very slow due to so many birds! Huge numbers of Starlings were on the fields and lining the telephone wires and then taking flight and making fantastic shapes in the sky as they bunched up and then spread out again just wonderful to watch. Redwings and Song Thrushes were all over the place too with more arriving all the time so exciting to be amongst bird migration. A beautiful male Common Redstart showed off along a fence line and there were Goldcrests, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and so many Robins all over the area! We found a sheltered stand of trees and stood at a gate watching to see what might pop up, well all the regulars were here and then Ruth spotted a dazzling Firecrest in an oak tree a real wow bird. Luckily this tiny gem stayed in view long enough for us all to get a good look and as we watched it a Ring Ouzel called from the tree above us! Firecrest gone we turned our attention to the Ring Ouzel and saw it was a cracking male on a bare branch not far above us, just time for a good view and a few grabbed photos before it was off. Now it was “raining” Redwings with hundreds of these Scandinavian thrushes falling out of the sky above us as dark clouds were approaching from over the North Sea. The noise of the Redwings wings was amazing as they swept just above our heads and dived into cover ahead of the coming down pour.


This male Ring Ouzel "fell" out of the sky and landed right above us!



We decided it might be a good idea to seek shelter too but as we turned to head back to the car we noticed several cars arriving just where we were stood. The usual question was asked “Anything about?” and the answer made us forget shelter – a Long-eared Owl had been trapped and ringed and was soon to be released in the field just behind where we were stood!

Of course thoughts of shelter were forgotten and we joined a group of birders in the field near the ringing hut and awaited the owl. Sarah, one of the Spurn Bird Observatory ringers came out holding the magnificent Long-eared Owl and what a stunning bird it was with beautiful plumage and those amazing orange eyes a real wow moment for sure. Everyone had a good look at this stunning bird as the rain arrived and more Redwings fell from the sky all around us! We dashed back to the car elated with our birding and so excited to be in the middle of a major fall of migrant birds, over 1,000 Redwing arrived in less than an hour in that small area of Spurn!


What a stunning bird! Long-eared Owl just before release after ringing at Spurn Bird Observatory.



Next we headed for Sammy’s Point west of Kilnsea on the north shore of the Humber Estuary, only a short distance in a straight line but a bit of drive north, then west and then back south! When we reached the small car park overlooking the vast Humber Estuary it was still throwing it down with rain, but we could see better weather coming. After a short wait the rain stopped and we hurried out to see what birds were about, first ones we saw were Yellowhammers a gang of them in some hawthorn bushes just west of the car park. The sky over the huge mudflats of the Humber Estuary was dramatic after the rain and there were lots of waders out there. Taking the coast path east we reached an area of bushes with a path running through them and at once saw a lovely Common Redstart on the path! Amongst the bushes we saw Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps and then heard a call, Yellow-browed Warbler, at first some confusion as we could hear other birders on the other side of the bushes and wondered if they had played a tape of the call? Then Alan spotted the Yellow-browed Warbler right on top of a bush just behind us! The warbler dived out of sight and we waited tensely for it to reappear, the minutes ticked by no warbler, then suddenly it was in a bush just to our right and this time showed off really well in the late afternoon sun, whew and wow!

We walked back to the car thrilled with our day of bird migration and the Redwings, with at least one Fieldfare amongst, them continued to pour overhead what a fantastic area for birds.

In the evening we enjoyed a delicious meal at an Italian Restaurant only a few minutes from our B&B perfect end to a very memorable day indeed!

Come and join us for a “Tour for Two” – very small group just two guests with two guides, tailor made itinerary, low risk in these COVID-19 times and of course lots of birds and an excellent chance of enjoying them all. Do drop us a line and we can make all the arrangements be it a day trip, two days, three day or as long a tour as you wish. Our recent Tours for Two have visited the Highlands of Scotland, North Wales and the Yorkshire coast and we are planning many more! Let us know where you would like to go and we can put together a proposal perfect for you.

We are so lucky to have so many species and habitats within easy reach here in North Wales we would love you to join us for one of our Best of North Wales Birdwatching Trips days out. We expect to enjoy a lot of birds during these relaxed pace tours and we can tailor make the day to suit you.

We would love you to join us on our Birdwatching Trips in the future just drop us a line to arrange a custom tour and please see our tours pages for set departure trips. If you have any questions at all please fire away here….

info@birdwatchingtrips.co.uk

We look forward to enjoying wonderful birds in beautiful places with you soon!





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