SPURN MIGRATION FESTIVAL 2014

Eurasian Wryneck, Beacon Lane, Kilnsea (on the same driveway that the 2013 Great Snipe frequented)

A GOOD SELECTION OF MIGRANTS AT SPURN THIS WEEKEND tempted me across the Pennines again. Coincidentally it was also the Spurn Migration Festival so there were a lot of birders around (although I have seen just as many or maybe more on an autumn 'fall' weekend) and I caught up with a few friends as well. Whinchats were probably the most visible migrants but there was also a wide variety of other species. I spent a long time trying to take photos of wryneck and Barred Warbler (I saw one of the former, mostly along Beacon Lane and the adjacent campsite and two of the latter, one in the hedge opposite the church and another in a hedge at Kilnsea Wetlands) but also caught up with sother interesting birds including a first winter Caspian Gull (expertly picked up flying north by Martin Garner at the warren and thanks to Garry's emergency stop we saw it fly by just south of the Bluebell). Martin said it was only around the 10th record for Spurn as this recent taxon catches up much rarer birds with records already in double figures here. A sandy-coloured Lesser Whitethroat in the Crown & Anchor car park was probably a blythi Siberian bird but I missed the 'Lesser' Golden Plover that flew over my head at the warren. Pied and Spotted Flycatchers were everywhere and Common Redstarts popped up in hedges here and there. Chattering flocks of Eurasian Tree Sparrows passed overhead at the Warren - is there anywhere else that you can see this in the UK I wonder? I have not heard so many flava wagtails flying over in this country for many years and newcomers like Mediterranean Gulls and Little Egret (at least five of each) were also conspicuous. I love birding at Spurn, despite the crowds of other birders and hope to be back there again later this autumn.

Barred Warbler, in the hedge opposite Kilnsea Church, a real brute that stuffed its face with elderberries all day