Getting up at 5.30am is not everyone’s idea of the best way to start their birthday but I’m a birder and it’s peak migration season! I left home at 6am heading for Spurn Point on the east coast.
It was raining when I arrived but I could see the edge of the cloud approaching with plenty of blue sky beyond, there was also a stiff easterly breeze so it was looking promising. The trees around the new visitor centre held a mixed flock of both Tree & House Sparrows and a large number of Brambling.
A Rosy Starling had been hanging around the Canal Bank for a few days so that was my first target. I walked all the way round the triangle but no joy. I did, however, see plenty of waders – Greenshank, Redshank, Dunlin and Turnstone. As I got towards the Crown & Anchor end a Whimbrel flew in which was an added bonus!
There was nothing else of note on my walk back round to the visitor centre so I headed inside to test the new café. Beans on toast and a cup of tea later and I headed back to the car to remove some layers! Now the sun was out it was quite warm! I’d parked alongside Clubley’s Field and noted a couple of birds on the ground so got my scope on them. Two pipits were in view, one was clearly a Meadow Pipit but the other was much, much larger and paler. I wasn’t confident in calling it anything other than a large pipit species but help was close at hand in the form of Jason from Oriole Birding who was leading a group. He got a look through my scope before it flew – it was a Richard’s Pipit! It was eventually relocated and lots of the birders around got to see it. Funnily enough I saw my first ever Richard’s Pipit on the same day at Spurn 3 years ago!
After that success I decided to have another go for the Rosy Starling while my luck was in and was rewarded with good if brief views of it sack on a thicket of sea buckthorn. I bumped into Jason again back at the centre and one of his group shouted up that the bird was now on the feeders! This afforded plenty of us incredible views of this bird.
Before heading home I called in at Sammy’s Point where a Long-eared Owl had been reported but my luck had run out. I did, however, come across a very confiding Wheatear!
I really love birding at this time of year, especially on the east coast – you really never know what your day will turn out like! I’m back at Spurn on Saturday for the SBS monthly coach trip so here’s hoping for more goodies!!