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April 2011 Sightings

30th April 2011 - Saturday

Sea-watch 05.30 – 10.00, 16.00 – 19.00. Cloudless all day with a very fresh force 5 easterly wind.


The day started with a ring-tail Montagu’s Harrier which flew south at 06.50, although the highlight of the day was yet again north of the Obs recording area when a male Ortolan Bunting was found at Sammy’s Point, and showed well for a couple of hours at least. The pair of Garganey were still on Canal Scrape on and off, there were a few more Redstarts around but similar numbers of other migrants to the last few days: 18 Yellow Wagtail, 6 Redstart, 19 Wheatear, 3 Ring Ouzel, 6 Song Thrush, 2 Redwing, 1 Mistle Thrush, 5 Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Blackcap, 12 Lesser Whitethroat, 7 Chiffchaff, 11 Willow Warbler.


Over the sea were 14 Eider, 61 Common Scoter, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 10 Red-throated Diver, 61 Fulmar, 2 Manx Shearwater, 357 Gannet, 1 Arctic Skua, 124 Kittiwake, 1 Black Tern, 4 Sandwich Tern, 4 Common Tern, 119 Arctic Tern, 488 auk sp, 54 Guillemot, 12 Razorbill, 2 Puffin.


Other birds of interest included 101 Bar-tailed Godwit out, 19 Whimbrel, 1 Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, while north of the area there was a Turtle Dove, a Common Sandpiper and a Whinchat at Sammy’s Point.

Ortolan Bunting. Rich Swales

Ortolan Bunting. Rich Swales

Ortolan Bunting. Garry Taylor

Ortolan Bunting. Garry Taylor

Ortolan Bunting. Garry Taylor

Ortolan Bunting. Garry Taylor

Montagu's Harrier. Martin Standley

Montagu's Harrier. Martin Standley

Ring Ouzel. Ian Lees

Ring Ouzel. Ian Lees

29th April 2011 - Friday

Sea-watch 06.30 – 08.40, 16.15 – 19.00, migration watch11.45 – 15.15. Broken clouds and long sunny periods, the wind veered from NE to ENE and dropped to about force 3.


The news of the Collared Pratincole at Spurn around mid-day was put on a mistake where photographs of the bird at Immingham were posted as being at Spurn by Birdguides. A pair of Garganey were on Canal Scrape all day although out of view for long periods, a few more common migrants appeared: 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Green Sandpiper, 3 Tree Pipit, 12 Yellow Wagtail, 20 Wheatear, 4 Ring Ouzel, 1 Redwing, 8 Grasshopper Warbler, 5 Blackcap, 10 Chiffchaff, 7 Willow Warbler.


It was a good day for Arctic Terns and waders flying out east: 8 Knot, 188 Bar-tailed Godwit, 13 Whimbrel, 5 Greenshank, 45 Herring Gull, 270 Arctic Tern. While birds over the sea included 3 Eider, 23 Common Scoter, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 11 Red-throated Diver, 19 Fulmar, 3 Manx Shearwater, 78 Gannet, 187 Kittiwake, 8 Sandwich Tern, 406 auk sp, 88 Gullemot, 32 Razorbill and 2 Puffin.


Other birds of note included 3 Barnacle Geese west, 1 Shoveler, 1 Marsh Harrier, 11 Whimbrel. While north of the area there was a Pied Flycatcher at Sammy’s Point and a Ring Ouzel at the riding school.

Pied Flycatcher at Sammy's Point. Mick Sharpe

Pied Flycatcher at Sammy's Point. Mick Sharpe

28th April 2011 - Thursday

Sea-watch 06.15 – 10.00. A cold grey morning with a cold, force 4-5 N wind, the sun started breaking through late morning and stayed sunny for the rest of the day.


The best action was over the sea and that was quiet: 1 Tufted Duck, 3 Eider, 9 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver, a breeding plumage Great Northern Diver was on the sea, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Fulmar, 1 Manx Shearwater, 55 Gannet, 15 Kittiwake, 3 Black Tern out, 33 Arctic Tern out, 100 auk sp, 18 Guillemot and 11 Razorbill.


Other birds seen included the pair of Garganey on Canal Scrape again in the afternoon, 1 Green Sandpiper, 12 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Ring Ouzel, 1 Redwing, 4 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warbler.

27th April 2011 - Wednesday

Sea-watch 06.30 – 09.30. Still a cold wind from the NNE, partially cloudy in the morning then sunny all afternoon.


A male Subalpine Warbler was seen briefly at Sammy’s Point mid-morning by two observers but was mobile and not seen again. 2 Garganey were on Canal Scrape from mid-morning and may have been the birds from the 25th, also a slight increase in migrants which included 1 Cuckoo, 18 Yellow Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Redstart, 13 Wheatear, 2 Ring Ouzel, 4 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 10 Lesser Whitethroat, 10 Chiffchaff, 10 Willow Warbler, 1 Goldcrest and a Brambling.


Over the sea there was 3 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver, 6 Fulmar, 39 Gannet, 1 Whimbrel, 12 Curlew, 41 Kittiwake, 22 Arctic Tern, 106 auk sp, 10 Guillemot, 1 Razorbill.


Other birds seen included 2 Grey Partridge, 1 Merlin, 1 Greenshank.

Garganey. Mick Sharpe

Garganey. Mick Sharpe

26th April 2011 - Tuesday

Sea-watches 06.30 – 11.00, 14.30 – 16.00. A cold force 4 northerly wind and mainly cloudy, the wind veered NE in the afternoon.


There were no new arrivals and the migrants still present were keeping low in the strong wind, migrant totals included: 24 Yellow Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail, 1 Redstart, 14 Wheatear, 1 Ring Ouzel, 4 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 8 Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Goldcrest and 2 Brambling.


On the sea single Manx Shearwater and Puffin were additions to the year list, while other birds over the sea were 23 Common Scoter, 3 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 12 Fulmar, 81 Gannet, 2 Shag, 27 Little Gull, 23 Little Tern, 7 Sandwich Tern, 8 Arctic Tern, 251 auk sp, 75 Guillemot, 3 Razorbill.


Other birds seen included 3 Marsh Harrier S, 1 Peregrine, 2 Whimbrel.

Grasshopper Warbler. Martin Standley

Grasshopper Warbler. Martin Standley

25th April 2011 - Monday

Migration watch 0530 - 1330. Cool in moderate northerly despite the sunny conditions.


Quieter today with less migrants about but a few new birds arrived mid morning. Totals today were 2 Turtle Dove, 2 Tree Pipit, 15 Grasshopper Warbler, male Redstart, 1 Whinchat, 1 Ring Ouzel, 4 Fieldfare and 1 Redwing. A pair of Garganey on Canal scrape were a welcome addition to the year list and showed well during the day whilst other birds of interest were a Long-eared Owl at sunnycliffe, Little Stint (tank blocks), Jack Snipe (canal), Velvet Scoter and Little Egret on the humber.


Birds moving south inc 1 Great-crested Grebe, 2 Sparrowhawk, Little-ringed Plover, 30 Flava, 10 Chaffinch, 2 Brambling, 35 Goldfinch and 50 Linnet.

Garganey. John Hewitt

Garganey. John Hewitt

Garganey. John Hewitt

Garganey. John Hewitt

24th April 2011 - Sunday

The highlight of the day was Spurn's 3rd COLLARED PRATINCOLE which came south and luckily for the birders at spurn it decided to spend half an hour at the warren running around on the spartina and hawking St Mark's flies before drifting off slowly north.


A small arrival of migrants in the morning gave totals of 5 Ring Ouzel, Black Redstart (Warren), Turtle Dove at the point (1st of year), 2 Cuckoo, 1 Tree Pipit, 50 Yellow Wagtail, male Blue-headed wagtail, 1 White wagtail, 1 Whinchat, 21 Wheatear, 4 Fieldfare, 15 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, 8 Lesser Whitethroat, 50 Whitethroat, 6 Chiff-chaff, 7 Willow Warbler, 1 Brambling. Birds moving south inc 20 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 3 Marsh Harrier + 1 U-turned, 3 Sparrowhawk, 1 Little-ringed Plover, 20 Sand Martin, 120 Swallow, 2 Tree Pipit, 19 Flava, 7 Jackdaw, 16 Carrion Crow, 6 Chaffinch, 81 Goldfinch and 117 Linnet whilst heading east were 5 Barnacle Geese, 2 Arctic Skua, 12 Curlew, 42 Black-headed Gull and 1 Arctic Tern.


Also of note were 7 Velvet Scoter on the Humber, Spotted Redshank at the gate and 2 Scaup north.

Collared Pratincole. Gareth Picton

Collared Pratincole. Gareth Picton

Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole

Black Redstart

Black Redstart

23rd April 2011 - Saturday

Migration watch 0530 - 1315. A day of light variable winds, with fog prevelant throughout and remaining sunny.


A decent southerly passage saw the spring's 3rd Red-rumped Swallow pass the warren, whilst a very impressive count of 12 Marsh Harrier also went south. Other birds going south were Common Buzzard, 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, 1 Ruff, 50 Sand Martin, 236 Swallow, 6 House Martin, 1 Tree Pipit, 7 Meadow Pipit, 14 Flava, 12 Jackdaw, 6 Rook, 33 Carrion Crow, 5 Chaffinch, 1 Brambling, 147 Goldfinch, 247 Linnet whilst birds heading out east inc 1 Arctic skua, 53 Arctic Tern and 19 Curlew.


Grounded migrants inc Cuckoo, 4 Shorelark at Chalk Bank, 19 Yellow Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail, 2 Whinchat, 39 Wheatear, 1 Fieldfare, 14 Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Blackcap, 15 Lesser Whitethroat, 52 Whitethroat, 12 Chiff-chaff, 9 Willow Warbler, Lesser Redpoll and Corn Bunting. Other birds of note were 2 Great-crested Grebe and Spotted Redshank on the Humber. North of the area there was 2 Ring Ouzel, Mealy Redpoll at Sammy's, 2 Brambling and Arctic Skua over Long Bank. A Green Hairstreak was at the warren.

Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

22nd April 2011 - Friday

Migration watch 05.55 – 12.00, sea-watch 17.30 – 18.30. Light fog for most of the day a fresh NE 3-4 wind.


Grasshopper Warblers increased yet again, with at least 17 in the recording area, Common Sandpiper and Whinchat were new for the year. Other migrants seen today included 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Cuckoo, 2 Tree Pipit, 12 Yellow Wagtail, 30 Wheatear, 3 Ring Ouzel, 2 Fieldfare, 1 Mistle Thrush, 8 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 5 Blackcap, 10 Lesser Whitethroat, 47 Whitethroat, 16 Chiffchaff, 12 Willow W arbler, 2 Brambling, 1 Redpoll sp.


Birds on the move (south unless stated) included 6 Fulmar + 3 out, 11 Gannet, 3 Marsh Harrier, 4 Lapwing, 5 Whimbrel + 8 out, 17 Curlew out, 1 Arctic Skua out, 3 Little Gull out, 3 Black Tern out, 24 Sandwich Tern, 1 Common Tern, 40 Arctic Tern out, 1 Stock Dove, 25 Sand Martin, 34 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 24 Linnet


Other birds of note seen were 1 Red-breasted Merganser and 1 Little Egret.

21st April 2011 - Thursday

Thick fog hampered viewing again, it thinned out a little but never cleared, a cold, force 2 N-NNE wind.


Grasshopper Warblers increased again, now 12 in the recording area, 4 on Beacon Lane, 1 by Listening Dish and 1 at Sammy’s Point. Other migrants seen today included 1 Short-eared Owl, 20 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Blue-headed Wagtail, 1 Redstart, 1 Stonechat, 22 Wheatear, 1 Ring Ouzel, 6 Song Thrush, 5 Sedge Warbler, the first Reed Warbler of the year, 3 Blackcap, 6 Lesser Whitethroat, 29 Whitethroat, 13 Chiffchaff, 16 Willow Warbler, 1 Brambling.


Other birds of note seen were 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Fulmar, 3 Whimbrel, 102 Curlew out east, 1 Greenshank, 2 Little Tern, 2 Sandwich Tern, 2 Sand Martin S, 24 Swallow S, 10 flava Wagtail S.

20th April 2011 - Wednesday

Migration watch 06.00 – 10.00. A bright cold sunny start, then thick fog rolled in late morning and stayed for the day making birding difficult.


A quieter day with still a few migrants present: 8 Yellow Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail, 2 Redstart, 35 Wheatear, 2 Ring Ouzel, 9 Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Sedge Warbler, 7 Blackcap, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 22 Whitethroat, 11 Chiffchaff, 24 Willow Warbler, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Brambling, 1 Redpoll sp.


The few birds moving included (south unless stated): 2 Common Scoter, 2 Fulmar, 7 Cormorant, 18 Bar-tailed Godwit out, 2 Arctic Skua (1 out, 1 S), 4 Little Tern, 2 Sandwich Tern, 26 Arctic Tern all out, 20 Sand Martin, 75 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 6 Meadow Pipit, 7 flava Wagtail, 15 Carrion Crow, 1 Brambling, 12 Goldfinch, 45 Linnet.


North of the area Tawny Owl and Little Owl were showing well in Easington and 2 Grasshopper Warblers were on Beacon Lane.

19th April 2011 - Tuesday

Migration watch 06.00 – 11.30. Blue skies to start then cloud building with occasional sunny spells, hazy mist in the distance, a fresh NE-N force 2-3 wind.


As is expected at this time of year when NE winds blow, terns move out of the Humber in a north-easterly direction, involved in the movement today were 83 Arctic Tern, 15 Black Terns (1st of the year), 1 Sandwich and 6 Little Terns, as well as 1 Arctic Skua, 6 Little Gull (1st of year) and a Glaucous Gull. Visible passage was light with just 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Marsh Harrier, 4 Sparrowhawk, 1 Lapwing, 15 Whimbrel out, 1 Green Sandpiper, 17 Sand Martin, 37 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 6 flava Wagtail, 3 alba Wagtail, 4 Jackdaw, 10 Rook, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Brambling, 47 Goldfinch, 76 Linnet and 2 Corn Bunting.


Grounded migrants were in more force today particularly from mid-morning onwards: 1 Cuckoo, 1 Tree Pipit, 14 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Redstart, 73 Wheatear, 2 Ring Ouzel, 8 Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Sedge Warbler, 5 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 12 Whitethroat, 23 Chiffchaff, 21 Willow Warbler, 2 Siskin, 1 Mealy Redpoll.


Other birds of note included 2 Wigeon, 2 Gadwall, 2 Grey Partridge, 2 Peregrine, 4 Whimbrel, while north of the area a Ring-necked Parakeet was in Easington and a Grasshopper Warbler was at the north end of Beacon Lane.

Tree Pipit. Andy Roadhouse

Tree Pipit. Andy Roadhouse

18th April 2011 - Monday

Migration watch 06.00 – 11.00. High, thin cloud to start then some long sunny periods, but foggy over the Humber, a cool SE-E force 2-3 wind.


There was no sign of the Savi’s Warbler at Sammy’s Point, but another bonus for 6 or 7 regulars when an immature WHITE-TAILED EAGLE flew over the riding school heading towards Sammy’s Point but then unfortunately for several birders it turned and headed west up the river. Also at Sammy’s Point was the first Garden Warbler of the year, and a Little Ringed Plover was at Beacon Ponds.


In the recording area migrants included 1 Cuckoo, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 1 rubicola Stonechat, 9 Wheatear, 1 Mistle Thrush, 9 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Sedge Warbler, 4 Blackcap, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 12 Whitethroat, 7 Chiffchaff, 4 Willow Warbler, 2 Brambling and a Siskin.


Birds moving south included 3 Wigeon, 3 Teal, 23 Common Scoter, 1 Fulmar, 3 Gannet, 1 Common Buzzard U-turned, 1 Avocet, 5 Curlew out, 2 Sandwich Tern, 17 Sand Martin, 33 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 2 Tree Pipit, 2 flava Wagtail, 3 alba Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail, 6 Jackdaw, 3 Rook, 4 Carrion Crow, 26 Goldfinch, 104 Linnet. Other birds seen included 1 Ruff and 4 Whimbrel.

immature White-tailed Eagle. John Cooper

immature White-tailed Eagle. John Cooper

Grasshopper Warbler. Adam Hutt

Grasshopper Warbler. Adam Hutt

Grasshopper Warbler. Adam Hutt

Grasshopper Warbler. Adam Hutt

17th April 2011 - Sunday

Migration watch 06.10 – 10.35. Blue skies all day with just the occasional cloud passing over and a light NW to E wind.


The highlight of the day was undoubtedly a SAVI’S WARBLER which was heard reeling at Sammy’s Point and then seen in the open on several occasions between mid-morning and mid afternoon, it wasn't seen or heard again by the end of the day. This is only the second record for the Spurn area, the last being one along the Canal in May 1984.


A Hawfinch which dropped into the Point early morning was the first of the year, while other migrants included 18 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Blue-headed and 1 ‘Channel-type’ Wagtail, 1 Black Redstart at the Warren, 1 Redstart at Canal Scrape, 17 Wheatear, 1 Fieldfare, 1 Mistle Thrush, 9 Grasshopper Warbler (a new day record – previous best 7), 3 Sedge Warbler, 6 Blackcap, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 10 Blackcap, 9 Chiffchaff, 10 Willow Warbler, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Brambling.


Some light passage saw the following birds move south, 2 Shoveler, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Fulmar, 15 Cormorant, 1 Little Egret, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 31 Curlew out, 3 Sand Martin, 14 Swallow, 6 flava Wagtail, 21 Jackdaw, 17 Rook, 20 Carrion Crow, 2 Chaffinch, 20 Goldfinch and 80 Linnet

Savi's Warbler. Martin Standley

Savi's Warbler. Martin Standley

Blue-headed Wagtail. Martin Standley

Blue-headed Wagtail. Martin Standley

16th April 2011 - Saturday

Migration watch 06.15 – 14.00. Cloudy to start and hazy on the horizon, long sunny spells from mid-morning, a very pleasant day with a force 2 W wind.


Another Red-rumped Swallow flew south over the Warren at 1.10 pm and is the 50th record for the Observatory. There was reasonable arrival of migrants the totals being the first Cuckoo of the year, 10 Yellow Wagtail, 5 Redstart, 30 Wheatear, 2 Fieldfare, 8 Song Thrush, 3 Redwing, 6 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Sedge Warbler, 21 Blackcap, 6 Whitethroat, 9 Chiffchaff, 30 Willow Warbler.


Passage was fairly light, birds moving south were: 3 Fulmar, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Golden Plover out, 3 Snipe, 48 Curlew out, 1 Spotted Redshank, 2 Skylark, 22 Sand Martin, 40 Swallow, 2 Tree Pipit, 12 flava Wagtail, 10 Jackdaw, 26 Rook, 32 Carrion Crow, 6 Chaffinch, 14 Goldfinch, 148 Linnet.


Other birds of note included 1 Tufted Duck, 1 Grey Partridge, 1 Merlin, 3 Whimbrel, 1 Spotted Redshank and 1 Greenshank.

Grasshopper Warbler. Pete Wragg

Grasshopper Warbler. Pete Wragg

Grasshopper Warbler. Andy Roadhouse

Grasshopper Warbler. Andy Roadhouse

Blackcap. Andy Roadhouse

Blackcap. Andy Roadhouse

15th April 2011 - Friday

Migration watch 06.15 – 14.00. High cloud and misty to start, with denser cloud building throughout the day, a still start picked up to just a light SW wind.


A Red-rumped Swallow flew south over the Warren at 7am and like many other species so far this spring was the earliest record by two days. There was a steady passage of migrants although not in any large numbers apart from Linnets which totaled 501, other birds moving south (unless stated) included 2 Shelduck, 2 Shoveler, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Fulmar, 6 Cormorant, 1 Marsh Harrier, 33 Oystercatcher out, 5 Lapwing, 18 Bar-tailed Godwit out, 60 Curlew out, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Arctic Skua out (1st of year), 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Yellow-legged Gull, 2 Skylark, 22 Sand Martin, 38 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 9 flava Wagtail, 3 alba Wagtail, 4 Jackdaw, 17 Rook, 11 Carrion Crow, 4 Chaffinch, 10 Greenfinch, 58 Goldfinch, 2 Siskin, 1 Redpoll sp and a Corn Bunting.


There were a few more grounded migrants around today, the first Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat of the year for the Observatory were seen, along with 1 Kingfisher, 1 White Wagtail, 1 Redstart, 23 Wheatear, 1 Ring Ouzel, 3 Fieldfare, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 4 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff, 15 Willow Warbler.

Marsh Harrier.  Martin Garner

Marsh Harrier. Martin Garner

14th April 2011 - Thursday

Migration watch 06.15 – 10.00. Long sunny spells and a light S wind.


A quiet day with just some light passage, although a Grey Partridge was the first seen in the recording area this year.


Birds moving south were 2 Red-throated Diver, 2 Cormorant, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Whimbrel, 13 Curlew out, 3 Sand Martin, 11 Swallow, 2 alba Wagtail, 4 Rook, 16 Carrion Crow, 3 Tree Sparrow, 4 Chaffinch, 61 Goldfinch, 281 Linnet and 1 Yellowhammer.


The only other birds of note seen included 1 Pintail, 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 3 Whimbrel, 1 Spotted Redshank, 13 Yellow Wagtail, 15 Wheatear, 3 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff and 3 Willow Warbler.

13th April 2011 - Wednesday

Migration watch 06.50 – 12.00. Long sunny spells and a light SW wind.


The highlight of the day was 2 Bee-eaters which spent a short while at the Warren before flying off south at 11.35 they were last seen leaving the Point at 11.45. This is the earliest record by over a month.


Other birds moving south included 1 Greylag Goose, 3 Canada Geese, 2 Shelduck, 2 Tufted Duck, 8 Gannet, 5 Cormorant + 10 in, 1 Sparrowhawk, 5 Kestrel, 17 Oystercatcher + 21 out, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and 77 Curlew out, 2 Sandwich Tern, 21 Sand Martin, 42 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 1 Meadow Pipit, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 6 Jackdaw, 41 Rook, 5 Carrion Crow, 11 Starling 24 Chaffinch, 8 Greenfinch, 85 Goldfinch, 393 Linnet and 5 Yellowhammer.


Other birds seen included 1 Snipe, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Little Tern, 11 Yellow Wagtail, 10 Wheatear, 7 Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler.


a male Blue-headed Wagtail was at Sammy's Point.

a very early Painted Lady at Sammy's Point. Abi Garner

a very early Painted Lady at Sammy's Point. Abi Garner

12th April 2011 - Tuesday

Migration watch 06.15 - 09.45.Sea-watch 10.00 – 11.45, 15.30 – 17.30. A bright and sunny day, cloudless in the morning and a few clouds building in the afternoon, a fresh W-WNW force 4 wind.


The highlight was probably a Black-throated Diver on the sea off Sandy Beaches,a bird rarely usually seen flying by at Spurn.


Much quieter with just a trickle of passage and hardly any migrants on show. Birds moving south included 1 Canada Goose, 4 Red-throated Diver, 12 Gannet, 12 Cormorant, 1 Marsh Harrier, 11 Oystercatcher, 2 Lapwing, 56 Curlew out, 2 Redshank in, 3 Sandwich Tern N, 2 Stock Dove, 4 Woodpigeon, 7 Sand Martin, 17 Swallow, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 alba Wagtail, 21 Rook, 31 Carrion Crow, 1 Chaffinch, 2 Goldfinch, 104 Linnet and 1 Redpoll sp.


The only other birds of note were 2 Gadwall, 1 Pintail, 4 Eider, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Whimbrel, 2 Spotted Redshank, 1 Wheatear, 4 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff and 3 Willow Warbler.

Black-throated Diver. Martin Garner

Black-throated Diver. Martin Garner

11th April 2011 - Monday

Migration watch 06.00 – 0920. Light hazy cloud to begin with, then covering and a few spots of rain in the afternoon but a sunny evening. Almost still to start then a W wind slowly picked up to quite blustery by late afternoon.


The highlight of the day was undoubtedly Spurns’ second ever PURPLE HERON (the last being in 1994), it was a first-summer bird that dropped into the Triangle at 07.50 and then moved onto Canal Scrape where it was out of views in the reeds for most of the time until someone walking along the Canal flushed it and it flew into Walker Butts where it was stood in the open until it flew off strongly SE towards Lincolnshire at 09.55. Some day visitors reported the bird coming in off the sea in the evening and going south, but it couldn’t be refound.


With Ring-necked Parakeet maybe being added to the Yorkshire list in the near future, one flying about early morning had a few people rushing about in the hope of adding the bird to their Spurn lists. There were other additions to the year list today, 2 Little Terns equaled the earliest ever record at Spurn, 2 Tree Pipits were in Church Field and later 1 on Beacon Lane, a Whitethroat was on Beacon Lane and 3 Crossbills were seen.


Moving south today were 3 Barnacle Geese, 2 Fulmar, 13 Cormorant, 2 Marsh Harrier, 2 Sparrowhawk, 97 Curlew flew out east, 1 Sandwich Tern, 6 Woodpigeon, 63 Sand Martin, 27 Swallow, 2 Meadow Pipit + 11 in, 2 flava Wagtail, 5 alba Wagtail, 21 Jackdaw, 21 Rook, 63 Carrion Crow, 8 Chaffinch, 2 Greenfinch, 19 Goldfinch, 146 Linnet, 1 Mealy Redpoll, 3 Crossbill, 1 Yellowhammer.


Migrants down included a Whimbrel, 34 Wheatear, 5 Blackcap, 8 Chiffchaff, 5 Willow Warbler, 1 Brambling.


North of the area there was a Common Buzzard at Sammy’s Point and a Great Spotted Woodpecker in Kilnsea.

1st summer Purple Heron

1st summer Purple Heron

1st summer Purple Heron

1st summer Purple Heron

Purple Heron. Martin Garner

Purple Heron. Martin Garner

Ring-necked Parakeet. Martin Garner

Ring-necked Parakeet. Martin Garner

10th April 2011 - Sunday

Migration watch 06.15 – 12.00. Hazy high thin clouds in the morning otherwise another bright and sunny day with a cool force 1-2 SE wind.


The earliest ever Spoonbill dropped into Canal Scrape very briefly before continuing south in the afternoon, other firsts for the year were 3 Common Tern out in the morning and 3 Arctic Tern south late afternoon, a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling by Chalk Bank.


Birds on the move were 2 Barnacle Geese, 9 Cormorant, 1 Little Egret N, 2 Marsh Harrier, 4 Sparrowhawk, 1 Common Buzzard + 1 U-turned, 1 Kestrel, 1 Whimbrel, 77 Sand Martin, 22 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 9 Meadow Pipit, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 14 alba Wagtail, 2 Jackdaw, 6 Rook, 26 Carrion Crow, 4 Chaffinch, 3 Greenfinch, 41 Goldfinch, 247 Linnet, 2 Yellowhammer, 1 Corn Bunting.


Other birds of note included 5 Eider, 2 Shag, 1 Merlin, 1 Sandwich Tern, 8 Yellow Wagtail, 7 Wheatear, 1 Fieldfare, 4 Blackcap, 7 Chiffchaff, 5 Willow Warbler and 1 Brambling.

Spoonbill. John Cooper

Spoonbill. John Cooper

9th April 2011 - Saturday

Migration watch 06.00 – 17.00, another cloudless day, although cool at times in the SE-ENE force 1-3 wind.


The first Sedge Warbler of the year was the earliest ever by one day, also Redstarts at post 62 and Middle Hedge were also the first of the year. Only small numbers of other migrants included 10 Wheatear, 1 Ring Ouzel, 1 Redwing, 4 Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff, 6 Willow Warbler, 3 Long-tailed Tit and 1 Brambling.


Moving south (unless stated otherwise) were 5 Eider, 1 Stock Dove, 64 Sand Martin, 11 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 6 Meadow Pipit + 14 in, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 3 alba Wagtail, 1 Jackdaw, 3 Rook, 7 Carrion Crow, 2 Tree Sparrow, 19 Chaffinch, 3 Brambling, 10 Greenfinch, 33 Goldfinch, 1 Siskin, 241 Linnet, 1 Redpoll, 1 Snow Bunting N, 2 Yellowhammer and 1 Corn Bunting.


Other birds seen included 226 Brent Geese, 4 Gadwall, 2 Pintail, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 9 Red-throated Diver, 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 1 Whimbrel and 1 Barn Owl.


North of the area there were 2 Avocets at Beacon Ponds and 1 Ring Ouzel, 2 Redstarts and a White Wagtail at Sammy’s Point.

8th April 2011 - Friday

Migration watch 06.00 – 17.00, clear blue skies all day, with a force 3-1 W wind, and still by late afternoon.


A clear out of migrants from yesterday and just a few new arrivals mid-morning, totals were 1 Greenshank, 1 House Martin, 24 Wheatear, 1 Ring Ouzel at the Point, 1 Redwing, 5 Blackcap, 10 Chiffchaff, 6 Willow Warbler, 1 Coal Tit, 1 Brambling and 1 Corn Bunting.


The highlight of today’s passage was a Hooded Crow which came in and moved north. 173 Meadow Pipits moved NW while moving south were 1 Eider, 15 Cormorant, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Common Buzzard U-turned, 5 Curlew out, 1 Stock Dove, 19 Woodpigeon, 41 Sand Martin, 24 Swallow + 7 N, 2 Yellow Wagtail + 1 N, 4 alba Wagtail + 2 in, 4 Great Tit, 5 Jackdaw, 37 Carrion Crow + 5 in, 31 Rook, 2 Tree Sparrow, 17 Chaffinch, 3 Greenfinch, 1 Siskin in, 179 Linnet, 1 Yellowhammer and 1 Reed Bunting.


North of the area a Ring Ouzel was by Easington Lagoon and the first migrant moths of the year were 3 Dark Swordgrass.

The first Corn Bunting ringed since 1989 and a ringing tick for Paul Collins

The first Corn Bunting ringed since 1989 and a ringing tick for Paul Collins

7th April 2011

Migration watch 06.00 – 15.00, a cool morning with mixed cloud and sunshine and a force 3 W-NW wind, the cloud cleared to leave a very nice sunny afternoon and the wind veered to the NE. It was a very good day for migrants, particularly so early in the year, with numbers more like mid-April onwards. Most birds arrived from mid-morning and continued throughout the day.


Today’s totals included 1 White Wagtail, 3 Robin, 95 Wheatear, 2 Ring Ouzel, 8 Blackbird, 1 Fieldfare, 5 Song Thrush, 1 Mistle Thrush, 18 Blackcap, 15 Chiffchaff, 48 Willow Warbler, 1 Goldcrest.


Also there was a very good passage of Meadow Pipits coming in off and continuing NW, totaling 627, with many Wheatears also doing the same. There was a steady southerly passage of birds which included 2 Wigeon in, 2 Eider N, 4 Common Scoter, 8 Stock Dove, 9 Wood Pigeon, 47 Sand Martin + 9 in, 22 Swallow, 3 alba Wagtail, 7 Great Tit, 15 Magpie, 24 Jackdaw, 49 Rook, 40 Carrion Crow, 7 Starling, 6 Tree Sparrow, 38 Chaffinch, 1 Brambling, 7 Greenfinch, 42 Goldfinch, 1 Siskin, 370 Linnet, 1 Redpoll sp, 1 Yellowhammer + 2 U-turned, 1 Corn Bunting + 3 U-turned. Other birds seen today were 4 Greylag Geese, 4 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, 2 Pintail, 4 Eider, 3 Red-throated Diver, 5 Gannet, 2 Merlin, 1 Black-tailed Godwit and a Barn Owl. At Sammy’s Point there was a Yellow Wagtail, Black Redstart and 20 Wheatears.

Ring Ouzel. John Law

Ring Ouzel. John Law

Blackcap. Adam Hutt

Blackcap. Adam Hutt

6th April 2011 - Wednesday

Migration watch 08.20 – 10.30, 11.20 – 12.20, 17.00 – 19.00. Occasional clouds with long sunny spells and warmest day of the year so far, a fresh WSW force 4 wind.


A better day for passage, moving south were 1 Brent Goose, 2 Marsh Harrier in off, 7 Curlew out, 1 Sandwich Tern out (1st of year), 2 Skylark, 8 Sand Martin, 12 Swallow + 9 N, 36 Meadow Pipit + 17 in, 9 alba Wagtail, 36 Rook, 25 Carrion Crow, 4 Starling, 97 Chaffinch, 2 Brambling, 3 Greenfinch, 72 Goldfinch, 20 Siskin, 332 Linnet and 1 Yellowhammer.


Other birds present included 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 1 House Martin, 1 Black Redstart, 3 Wheatear, 3 Fieldfare, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Coal Tit at Kew.

5th April 2011 - Tuesday

Seawatch – 06.45 – 08.15, migration watch 09.00 – 13.00. Rain at dawn petered out by early morning in a stiff force 5-3 SW wind.


Birds moving south today included two firsts of the year – Little Ringed Plover and Whimbrel, other birds moving were 1 Pink-footed Goose N, 3 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver, 3 Curlew out, 5 Lesser B.B.Gull, 2 Sand Martin, 2 Swallow, 3 Meadow Pipit + 11 in, 7 alba Wagtail, 2 Rook, 2 Carrion Crow, 3 Greenfinch, 33 Goldfinch, 69 Linnet.


Other birds present were 1 Greylag Goose, 2 Wigeon, 4 Gadwall, 1 Pintail, 4 Sparrowhawk, 1 Merlin, 1 Black Redstart, 3 Wheatear, 1 Redwing, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest.

4th April 2011 - Monday

Migration watch 06.50 – 10.10. A bright start that clouded over giving heavy showers I the afternoon in a stiffening force 2-5 SW wind.


Birds moving south included 2 Greylag Geese, 1 Wigeon, 5 Lapwing, 4 Stock Dove, 21 Woodpigeon, 3 Sand Martin, 4 Swallow, 7 Meadow Pipit, 4 alba Wagtail, 3 Great Tit, 8 Jackdaw, 22 Rook, 8 Carrion Crow, 18 Starling, 7 Chaffinch, 3 Greenfinch, 31 Goldfinch, 2 Siskin, 256 Linnet, 1 Reed Bunting.


Other birds present were 2 Gadwall, 1 Pintail, 2 Red-throated Diver, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Wheatear, 3 Fieldfare, 1 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Goldcrest.

3rd April 2011 - Sunday

Migration watch 06.15 – 15.00. Plenty of sunny spells during the day and some heavy thundery showers later in the day. A fresh WSW wind.


It was a good day for passage with the following totals (moving south unless stated otherwise): 1 Shelduck, 3 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Sparowhawk, 2 Marsh Harrier, 1 Lapwing, 3 Curlew, 2 Stock Dove, 102 Woodpigeon, 2 Skylark, 28 Sand Martin, 8 Swallow + 1 N, 2 House Martin (1st of year), 32 Meadow Pipit + 9 in, 14 alba Wagtail, 14 Great Tit, 3 Magpie, 31 Jackdaw + 43 U-turned, 81 Rook + 21 U-turned, 29 Carrion Crow + 5 in, 81 Starling, 12 Tree Sparrow, 29 Chaffinch, 1 Brambling, 8 Greenfinch, 52 Goldfinch, 3 Siskin, 840 Linnet, 1 Lapland Bunting, 3 Yellowhammer, 3 Reed Bunting and 1 Corn Bunting.


Grounded migrants included the first Greenshank and Yellow Wagtail of the year, while also present were 2 White Wagtail, 1 Black Redstart, 11 Wheatear, 4 Fieldfare, 19 Redwing, 3 Blackcap, 10 Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warbler, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Coal Tit. Also on the wing were 2 Brimstone and 20 Peacocks.

2nd April 2011 - Saturday

Some heavy showers petering out in the morning with the occasional one in the afternoon in a decreasing force 4-2 SW wind inducing some passage. Watches 0630-1030, 1630-1730


Of note were 2 Wigeon and 2 Gadwall (Triangle), 14 Eider N, a Little Grebe (Canal Scrape), a Sparrowhawk S, 2 Sky Lark S, 9 Sand Martin S plus 4 N, 6 Swallow S, 176 Meadow Pipit (57 S, 89 in), a Yellow Wagtail S, a White Wagtail (Canal Scrape), a Black Redstart (Point), 7 Wheatear, a Blackcap (Little Hedge), 11 Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler (Warren-Little Hedge), 4 Goldcrest, 10 Jackdaw S, 41 Rook (37 S), 27 Crow (20 S, 3 in), 96 Starling (76 S), 4 Tree Sparrow S, 144 Chaffinch (124 S), a Brambling S, 6 Greenfinch S, 30 Goldfinch (18 S), 3 Siskin S, 247 Linnet (217 S), 2 Yellowhammer and 3 Reed Bunting S.


North of the recording area a male Hen Harrier went N from Beacon Lagoons and a Black Redstart was at Sandy Beaches.

1st April 2011 - Friday

Another showery start to the day in a stiff SW wind that induced some better passage.


The highlights being; 1 Teal S, 7 red-throated Diver (6 N), 2 Lapwing, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Curlew all in, a Green Sandpiper (Church Field pond), a Sky Lark S, a Sand Martin S, 2 Swallow S, 67 Meadow Pipit (29 S, 8 in and 30 peninsula), 14 Alba Wagtail (11 S, 3 in), 3 Black Redstart remain at the Point, 5 Fieldfare, 27 Redwing, 2 Chiffchaff (Point), 6 Goldcrest, 4 Crow S, 179 Chaffinch (155 S), 17 Greenfinch (3 S), 28 Goldfinch (20 S), 61 Linnet (36 S).

Fieldfare. Sue Hepton

Fieldfare. Sue Hepton

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