Spurn Subalpine Warbler

Well the good start to the Spring continues. I took my mum out yesterday and we popped to the Crown and Anchor for a spot of lunch and had a little wander about. The conditions were not great to be honest but a quick 10 minutes in the hide at canal scrape produced nice (but distant) views of the subalpine warbler and a quick look at Sammy's Point produced a short eared owl but that was about it really.

So I headed out before dawn this morning with the hope of a better sighting of the subalp.

First port of call was Kilnsea wetlands but it was quite bleak with a stiff northerly wind blowing straight across. Two foxes before sunrise was a nice bonus with little else apart from the resident avocets and displaying shell duck.

So on to canal scrape and whilst scanning through the bushes from the hide, news came out that the subalpine warbler was still in canal bushes and quite vocal.

I made my way around and it became apparrent that the bird was quite mobile but staying loyal to the bushes around canal scrape.

It showed on and off for the next couple of hours but never really close and never out in the sunshine. Anyway it is a very nice looking bird and whilst not much better than record shots these photographs constitute the best I've had of a subalpine warbler- the previous and only pther was a rather dull female at the warren a few years ago.

It appears that this bird has been hanging around for a while (it was last seen on the 7th April) so there is a good chance it might stick for another couple of days.

Spring has got off to a good start at Spurn for me and the best weeks are yet to come-bring on those easterlies!

Springtime at Spurn

I had a great trip down to Spurn this morning. I was out of the door just after 5.30 and arrived at Kilnsea just as the Sun was rising.

My first port of call was Kilnsea Wetlands. There wasn't much close to the hide-a redshank soon took flight leaving a pair of mallard splashing about nearby. There were lots of curlew flying around and it wasn't long before a group settled on the grass in front of me, beautifully backlit by the morning sun. Almost immediately a pair of skylarks landed in front of me and provided me with a great opportunity to get a close shot of a difficult bird to photograph.

It was then I heard the news break that a probable Iberian Chiff-Chaff has been located in the Crown and Anchor car park.

It didn't take me long to get up there from the hide and after an initial no-show the Ibe was singing and calling and showed very well in the Spring time sunshine down to about 10m. A nice distraction was a brief firecrest that flitted through the trees and didn't hang around.

The Ibe flew overhead after a while and ended up in the nets in Kew so that was my cue to leave.

I headed up to Sammy's Point and despite a few birds being around there was nothing of note apart from a calling brambling.

I was surprised that nothing else turned up today despite favourable conditions for southern overshooters.

None the less a cracking morning and a good start to my birding year at Spurn.

Ibe chiff (3 of 1).jpg

A trip to the Seaside

I thought I would try around Scarborough today, have a look at a few of the local specialities the go for an hour or two looking for Goshawks.

I started at Holbeck car park and saw some nice mediterranean gulls in the morning light along with a few more commoner black-headed gulls.

Then on to the harbour but didnt see a great deal apart from a few feeding shag (one appeared to catch a dragonet) but no sign of black-necked grebe or great northern diver.

Then on to Forge Valley and had a nice couple of hours there photographing some of the more common species. Great spotted woodpecker, stock dove, marsh tit, nuthatch and treecreeper were all 'new' for the year.

Then on to the raptor watchpoint a few siskins were feeding quite close then a couple of crossbills appeared which was ver nice.

Then the stars of the show appeared goshawks! they were miles away to be fair and well out of the range for a photograph but very nice to see all the same.

By late morning it was beginning to cloud over so I headed off back home after a very nice trip out.