Migfest 2017

I was particularly looking forward to Migfest this year as I had been asked if I would like to have a stand promoting wildlife photography at Spurn. So my plan was to get out early then get back to Migfest HQon both days for around 10ish and then spend the rest of the day talking to anyone who was interested about what Spurn has to offer in terms of wildlife photography.

So a very early start on Saturday had me at the seawatching hide before dawn and it wasnt long before an enthusiastic crowd had assembled some watching the skies for visible migration and the others hoping for something good out to sea.

The sea was fairly quiet but the higlight for me was a calling roseate tern with a mixed flock of common and sandwich terns. Also a few gannet, red throated diver and a sizeable flock of common scoter. A short eared owl flew north along the edge of the cliff and there was good numbers of meadow pipit, swallows and tree sparrows flying overhead.

My next port of call was the hide at Kilnsea Wetlands  and here the highlight was a close little stint as well as curlew sandpiper, ruff and pleanty of common waders the numbers building as high tide approached. I heard that the previous night's wryneck was still around so I made my way to the cliff top at Kilnsea Caravan site and sure enough the wryneck performed admirably feeding on aphids on flowers and was frequently out in full view oblivious to the appreciative crowd.

I had a fruitless look for the black redstart on the caravan site and then made my way back. to Migfest HQ.

I spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon chatting away to various people about all things Spurn. The day threatened to end quietly when pandemonium ensued as news of a long billed dowitcher crackled over the radio. Within 5 minutes I was amongst a throng of people enjoying good but distant views of a superb rare American Wader and only the third for Spurn.

The day ended beautifully as the wind died down and a glorious late summer evening was enjoyed by everybody enriched by a cracking hog roast and a general sense of contentment acknowledging what had been a superb day.

Sunday started with a magnificent sunrise and I photographed a few common gulls and waders over the sea. I went to have another look at the long billed dowitcher and the wryneck then added caspian gull, black redstart and pintail to the weekend list.

The weather was looking a bit ropey so I headed back to Migfest HQ a little earlier than planned and I quickly put together a montage of shots I had taken over the weekend then spent the rest of the afternoon talking to lots of people about photography, Lightroom Spurn and everything in between. The peace and quiet was broken again by news of a Sabines Gull flying over Migfest HQ which i unfortunately missed by seconds.

Overall the weekend was a huge success, there were some brilliant birds, a magical place and some very friendly people. Huge credit must go to the organisers from the Spurn Bird Observatory and all of the volunteers who contributed to making this (in my opinion) the best Migfest yet.

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