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August 2011 Sightings

31st August 2011 - Wednesday

Sea-watches – 07.00-10.00, 17.50-19.30. Cloudy all day, with a light N-E force 1-2 wind.


A Common Rosefinch caught first thing was a good start to the day, it flew off north but was seen again later in the day back at the Warren. The bird of the day however went to a Grey Phalarope which flew over the Warren calling and was another addition to the year list and also brought the August total to 155 species – a new record for August.


There was a small increase in grounded migrants and included 500 Swallow, 2 Tree Pipit, 60 Meadow Pipit, 42 flava Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail, 2 Whinchat, 6 Wheatear, 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, 3 Garden Warbler, 20 Lesser Whitethroat, 33 Whitethroat, 9 Willow Warbler, 5 Goldcrest, 1 Spotted Flycatcher and a Corn Bunting. Migrants moving south included a Marsh Harrier, 1 Swift, 5 Sand Martin, 80 Swallow, 29 House Martin, 41 Meadow Pipit, 17 flava Wagtail.


Over the sea were 3 Wigeon, 24 Teal, 50 Common Scoter, 4 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 9 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Manx Shearwater, 320 Gannet, 118 Oystercatcher, 13 Whimbrel, 8 Arctic Skua, an adult Long-tailed Skua flew out east over Chalk Bank, 3 Bonxie, 436 Common Tern, 3 Arctic Tern, 2 Guillemot, 3 Puffin.


Other birds seen included a Shoveler, a Purple Sandpiper, 1 Ruff and north of the area there was a Little Stint and Cuckoo at Sammy’s Point.

Barry Spence on the future of transport down the peninsula!!! photo Andy Roadhouse

Barry Spence on the future of transport down the peninsula!!! photo Andy Roadhouse

30th August 2011 - Tuesday

Sea-watches – 06.15-09.40, 17.00-19.30. Cloudy with some sunny spells in the morning and rain in the evening, a force 3 NW-W-NW wind.


Over the sea today were 4 Teal, 4 Red-throated Diver, 3 Fulmar, 7 Sooty Shearwater, 31 Manx Shearwater, 350 Gannet, 16 Oystercatcher, 29 Knot, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Whimbrel, 16 Arctic Skua, 1 Long-tailed Skua at 17.30, 3 Bonxie, 6 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Yellow-legged Gull, 1 Black Tern, 700 Common Tern, 2 Roseate Tern, 15 Arctic Tern.


Migrants seen included 2 Tree Pipit, 160 Meadow Pipit south + 70 grounded, 24 flava Wagtail S + 37 grounded, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Whinchat, 3 Wheatear, 1 Garden Warbler, 6 Willow Warbler, 4 Goldcrest, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Siskin, 3 Corn Bunting.


Other birds seen were 3 Wigeon, 1 Merlin, 1 Hobby, 2 Ruff, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper.

All photos by Adam Stoyle. The high tides yesterday evening ravaging the already fragile peninsula

All photos by Adam Stoyle. The high tides yesterday evening ravaging the already fragile peninsula

Looking north, the cobbled area was a passing bay protected on its eastern flank by a five foot sand dune

Looking north, the cobbled area was a passing bay protected on its eastern flank by a five foot sand dune

The sea spilling across the road and into the Humber estuary this morning

The sea spilling across the road and into the Humber estuary this morning

Spurn was an island again briefly

Spurn was an island again briefly

Very serious damage to the road, leaves it impassable to non 4 wheel drive vehicles and the peninsula looks set to being closed to vehicles for quite a while yet

Very serious damage to the road, leaves it impassable to non 4 wheel drive vehicles and the peninsula looks set to being closed to vehicles for quite a while yet

29th August 2011 - Monday

Sea-watches – 05.50-12.00, 12.30-13.15, 17.15-20.00. Cloudy with some long sunny spells, a force 4-2 NW-NE-NW wind.


The high spring tides put a lot of water and sand on the road south of the Warren this morning and then this evening even more plus it has ripped a full sand dune off that protects the road and the sea broke through and into the Humber, the road is now temporarily closed.


Most effort was spent watching the sea, the highlight was an adult Sabine’s Gull which flew south and had been seen earlier flying south past Mappleton further up the coast. Other birds seen over the sea included 4 Red-throated Diver, 7 Fulmar, 25 Sooty Shearwater, 79 Manx Shearwater, 170 Gannet, 1 Shag, 40 Oystercatcher, 89 Arctic Skua, 19 Bonxie, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 4 Little Gull, 2 Black Tern, 1160 Common Tern, 2 Roseate Tern, 7 Arctic Tern, 20 auk sp, 1 Razorbill.


Other birds seen included 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Merlin, 1 Ruff, 20 Whimbrel, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 1 Cuckoo, 4 Swift, 12 Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, 3 Sedge Warbler, 3 Willow Warbler, 5 Goldcrest, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Pied Flycatcher.

Merlin. Ian Smith

Merlin. Ian Smith

Cuckoo. Micky 'luv' McNaghten

Cuckoo. Micky 'luv' McNaghten

28th August 2011 - Sunday

Sea/migration-watches – 06.15-20.15. Mainly sunny with cloudy spells but a freshening SW-W 3-6/7 wind.


A day of mainly passage over the sea and land and just a sprinkling of common migrants. Over the sea the highlight was a Cory's Shearwater which flew south at 10.45, other birds over the sea were 3 Wigeon, 13 Teal, 3 Scaup, 20 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver, 7 Fulmar, 2 Sooty Shearwater, 22 Manx Shearwater, 485 Gannet, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Osprey, 2 Kestrel, 1 Hobby, 44 Oystercatcher, 11 Ringed Plover, 10 Grey Plover, 6 Sanderling, 4 Dunlin, 5 Ruff, 9 Bar-tailed Godwit, 19 Whimbrel, 4 Turnstone, 62 Arctic Skua, 3 Long-tailed Skua, 10 Bonxie, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Little Gull, 1 Yellow-legged Gull, 1 Little Tern, 9 Black Tern, 80 Sandwich Tern, 2470 Common Tern, 1 Roseate Tern, 55 Arctic Tern.


Migrants passing south over the land included 26 Swift, 115 Sand Martin, 1300 Swallow, 620 House Martin, 59 Meadow Pipit, 81 flava Wagtail, 33 Tree Sparrow, 14 Linnet.


Other birds of note included 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 2 Cuckoo, 1 Barn Owl, 1 Short-eared Owl, 1 Redstart, 3 Whinchat, 6 Wheatear, 1 Garden Warbler, 5 Willow Warbler, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Pied Flycatcher.

Short-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl

Cuckoo. Ian Smith

Cuckoo. Ian Smith

27th August 2011 - Saturday

Sea/migration-watches – 06.15-11.00, 12.15-14.45, 18.45-20.00. Cloudy with some long sunny spells and a few heavy showers in the afternoon, a force 3 W wind.


A good day with reasonable visible migration, sea-watching and a few grounded migrants. Over the sea were 49 Teal, 2 Eider, 27 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver, 5 Fulmar, 4 Sooty Shearwater, 9 Manx Shearwater, 272 Gannet, 10 Knot, 1 Pomarine Skua, 44 Arctic Skua, 3 Long-tailed Skua, 23 Bonxie, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 15 Little Gull, 740 Common Tern, 1 Roseate Tern, 1 Arctic Tern and 20 Guillemot.


Moving south over the land were 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 23 Ruff, 7 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Whimbrel, 28 Swift, 57 Sand Martin, 800 Swallow, 31 House Martin, 1 Tree Pipit, 10 Meadow Pipit, 22 flava Wagtail, 4 Rook, 190 Tree Sparrow, 35 Linnet.


On the ground were 2 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 3000 Golden Plover, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 1 Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper, 1 Cuckoo, 2 Redstart, 3 Whinchat, 1 Wheatear, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, 2 Garden Warbler, 10 Lesser Whitethroat, 15 Whitethroat, a Wood Warbler was in the churchyard, 18 Willow Warbler, the first Goldcrest of the autumn, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 5 Pied Flycatcher.


Another tern ringing session after dark caught 24 Common Tern and the 3rd ever Sandwich Tern caught at Spurn.

juvenile Sandwich Tern. Ian Smith

juvenile Sandwich Tern. Ian Smith

26th August 2011 - Friday

Sea-watches – 07.30-10.00, 17.40-20.15. Overcast all day and rain for most of it, with a short break late morning, a SSE-N-NE force 2 wind.


A tern catching session last night after dark proved worthwhile when 4 Common Terns and an Arctic Tern (first ringed since 1968!) were trapped between 10pm and midnight.


A ‘Lesser’ Golden Plover probably American flew over Sammy’s Point with Golden Plovers and onto the Humber but couldn’t be refound despite searching. Still no scarce migrants and we had to make do with 1 Redstart, 3 Whinchat, 4 Garden Warbler, 8 Lesser Whitethroat, 16 Willow Warbler, 2 Spotted Flycatcher and 6 Pied Flycatcher.


On the move (mostly S over the sea) were 128 Teal, 4 Fulmar, 171 Oystercatcher, 18 Knot, 1 Snipe, 17 Bar-tailed Godwit, 15 Whimbrel, 1 Pomarine Skua, 3 Arctic Skua, 18 Sandwich Tern, 225 Common Tern, 1 Roseate Tern, 9 Swift, 7 Sand Martin, 432 Swallow, 9 House Martin, 2 Meadow Pipit, 19 flava Wagtail.


Other birds seen included 3 Wigeon, 5 Little Egret, 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 700 Ringed Plover, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Ruff, 500 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Spotted Redshank.

juvenile Arctic Tern. Micky 'Luv' McNaghten

juvenile Arctic Tern. Micky 'Luv' McNaghten

juvenile Common Tern. Micky 'Luv' McNaghten

juvenile Common Tern. Micky 'Luv' McNaghten

adult Common Tern. Micky 'Luv' McNaghten

adult Common Tern. Micky 'Luv' McNaghten

25th August 2011 - Thursday

Sea-watches – 06.30 – 20.30. A breezy start with a few blustery showers in the morning, the wind dropped and a few sunny spells in the afternoon and evening, a force 4-2 S-SSE wind.


The highlight for most was a Great White Egret which flew low south over the Humber towards Lincolnshire at 11.10, although the highlight for the Observatory warden was ringing a Merlin, only the eighth ringed at Spurn and the first he has ringed.


Again most activity was over the sea and mostly south: 98 Teal, 1 Tufted Duck, 2 Scaup, 40 Common Scoter, 1 Fulmar, 1 Manx Shearwater, 12 Cormorant, 1 Shag, 67 Oystercatcher, 1 Ringed Plover, 11 Knot, 13 Sanderling, 1 Little Stint in, 8 Dunlin, 17 Ruff (inc a flock of 14), 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 16 Whimbrel, 5 Redshank, 3 Greenshank, 27 Turnstone, 13 Arctic Skua, 1 juv Long-tailed Skua, 2 Bonxie, 3 Mediterranean Gull, 11 Black Tern, 172 Sandwich Tern, 3840 Common Tern, 28 Arctic Tern.


Grounded birds included 4 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Wheatear, 1 Sedge Warbler, 3 Garden Warbler, 5 Willow Warbler, 2 Pied Flycatcher. Other birds seen included 2 Wigeon, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Marsh Harrier S, 1 Kestrel S, 620 Ringed Plover, 3 Greenshank, 8 Swift S. While north of the area there were 10 Mediterranean Gulls in fields north of Kilnsea.

Merlin. Christine Melchior

Merlin. Christine Melchior

24th August 2011 - Wednesday

Sea/migration-watches – 06.00 –10,.30, 11.30-14.30, 17.00-20.30. A still start then a light to fresh S-SE wind picking up, some long sunny spells and feeling warm.


A disappointing day until the evening sea-watch, with hardly any hoped for migrants, just 3 Whinchat, 2 Garden Warbler, 4 Willow Warbler and a Spotted Flycatcher.


Watching the sea produced most birds and all going south unless stated: 17 Shelduck, 4 Wigeon, 290 Teal, 3 Shoveler, 4 Common Scoter, 2 Goosander , 1 Red-throated Diver, 150 Gannet, 4 Shag, 86 Oystercatcher, 17 Sanderling, 35 Dunlin, 4 Snipe, 12 Whimbrel, 9 Arctic Skua, the first Long-tailed Skua of the year at 19.00, 2 Bonxie, 5 Little Gull N, 11 Black Tern, 110 Sandwich Tern, 4400 Common Tern, 2 Roseate Tern, 20 Arctic Tern.


Also moving south were 2 Grey Heron, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Common Buzzard U-turned, 5 Kestrel, 3 Swift, 7 Sand Martin, 12 Swallow, 15 House Martin, 12 Meadow Pipit, 11 flava Wagtail and 69 Tree Sparrow.


Other birds seen 1 Merlin, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank and 3 Grasshopper Warbler.

23rd August 2011

Sea-watches – 06.45 –11.00, 18.00-20.00. A cloudy start quickly followed by rain which lasted until late afternoon with occasional breaks but no sign of the sun, a force 2-3 NE-NW wind.


A disappointing morning with no new migrants in. From 1pm a few migrants started to appear, most notably a Wryneck briefly on Canal bank. Other migrants includede 1 Swift, 1 Tree Pipit, 15 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Redstart, 3 Whinchat, 5 Wheatear, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, 11 Willow Warbler, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 4 Pied Flycatcher and a Corn Bunting.


The only movement was over the sea (south unless stated0, 2 Wigeon, 116 Teal, 40 Common Scoter, 1 Fulmar N, 2 Sooty Shearwater N, 380 Gannet, 2 Shag N, 45 Oystercatcher, 12 Knot, 32 Sanderling, 2 Whimbrel + 19 in, 10 Arctic Skua, 2 Black Tern. The only other birds of note were a Merlin, 2 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper and a Puffin.


At Sammy’s Point there were 5 Whinchat, 3 Wheatear, 1 Redstart, 2 Spotted Flycatcher and 4 Pied Flycatcher.

Pied Flycatcher. Mick Sharpe

Pied Flycatcher. Mick Sharpe

22nd August 2011

Sea/migration-watches – 06.05 –11.00, 18.00-20.00. Clear blue skies and hot and sunny for most of the day, a light force 2 NW wind in the morning veering to the E by early afternoon.


There was a definite increase in migrants from first light but no new birds after the wind had turned east: 21 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Redstart, 3 Whinchat, 5 Wheatear, 3 Sedge Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, 12 Lesser Whitethroat, 60 Whitethroat, 30 Willow Warbler.


Passage was much light, moving south today were 21 Teal, 1 Marsh Harrier, 2 Sparrowhawk, 60 Oystercatcher, 1 Golden Plover in, 36 Knot, 13 Sanderling, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Arctic Skua, 800 Common Tern, 2 Arctic Tern, 2 Sand Martin, 142 Swallow, 58 flava Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, 4 alba Wagtail, 105 Tree Sparrow.


Other birds seen included 2 Wigeon, 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 5 Whimbrel and 2 Greenshank. North of the area a Redstart was at Sammy’s Point. Migrant moths caught the last 2 nights were singles of each on both nights – Dark Sword Grass, Silvery Y and White-point.

Wheatears. Mick Sharpe

Wheatears. Mick Sharpe

21st August 2011 - Sunday

Sea/migration-watches – 06.10 – 13.00, 14.45-16.30, 17.45-20.15 . Heavy cloud and a few spots of rain to start slowly clearing to leave some long sunny spells then clouding over again late afternoon, a light S-W wind.


A much quieter day for passage but still 71 flava Wagtails flew south, other totals of southward moving migrants were 2 Shelduck, 1 Wigeon, 52 Teal, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Kestrel, 1 Merlin, 276 Oystercatcher, 5 Ringed Plover, 25 Knot, 26 Sanderling, 9 Dunlin, 2 Snipe in, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 26 Whimbrel, 3 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 4 Turnstone, 8 Arctic Skua, 2 Little Tern, 1100 Common Tern, 34 Swift, 31 Sand Martin, 242 Swallow, 51 House Martin, 2 alba Wagtail, 40 Tree Sparrow and 14 Linnet.


Grounded birds were still in low numbers with 1 Tree Pipit, 15 Yellow Wagtail, 7 Whinchat, 9 Willow Warbler, 2 Pied Flycatcher.


Other birds of note included an increase in Little Egrets to 11, 1 Hobby, 1 Water Rail, 8 Whimbrel, 1 Spotted Redshank, 5 Mediterranean Gull. The hirundine roost along the Canal held at least 800 birds and a ringing session there in the evening saw the ringers catch 148 Swallow and 3 Sand Martin.

Little Egret. Mick Sharpe

Little Egret. Mick Sharpe

20th August 2011 - Saturday

Sea/migration-watches – 06.00-13.00, 16.45-20.00. Bright and sunny for most of day with some cloudy spells, a force 3 SW-SSW wind.


There was a good passage of hirundines and flava Wagtails through the Narrows in the morning, the latter recording its second highest autumn total with 161 south and 15 grounded birds. Totals of birds moving south were: 8 Teal, 16 Common Scoter, 1 Marsh Harrier, 44 Oystercatcher, 17 Ringed Plover, 2 Golden Plover, 4 Grey Plover, 75 Knot, 13 Sanderling, 24 Dunlin, 2 Ruff, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 55 Whimbrel, 3 Curlew, 8 Redshank, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 5 Turnstone, 1 Bonxie, 19 Sandwich Tern, 626 Common Tern, 7 Arctic Tern, 4 Swift, 125 Sand Martin, 4860 Swallow, 253 House Martin, 7 Meadow Pipit, 1 alba Wagtail, 107 Tree Sparrow, 1 Siskin N, 12 Linnet.


Grounded birds were very few: 4 Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, 1 Blackcap, 9 Willow Warbler.


North of the area a Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper and Spotted Redshank were at Beacon Ponds.

migrating Oystercatchers. Ian Smith

migrating Oystercatchers. Ian Smith

19th August 2011 - Friday

Sea/migration-watches – 06.20-09.45, 10.45-12.45, 16.00-20.30. A bright start but clouding over by late morning, a force 3 WNW – 1-2 SSE wind by the evening.


An uneventful passage past the Narrows at least produced the 230th species for the year in the Observatory recording area when a Temminck’s Stint flew south at 07.10. A few raptors moved south during the day, 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Marsh Harrier and a Common Buzzard but the highlight was a record day count of Ospreys when 6 flew south in the evening, five south out at sea and one south-west across the Humber between 19.05 and 20.20. Other totals moving south included 2 Shelduck, 2 Wigeon, 118 Teal, 55 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Fulmar, 1 Manx Shearwater, 200 Oystercatcher, 2 Golden Plover, 116 Knot + 47 in, 20 Sanderling, 12 Dunlin, 21 Bar-tailed Godwit, 49 Whimbrel, 2 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 18 Arctic Skua, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Black Tern, 490 Common Tern, 3 Swift, 39 Sand Martin, 492 Swallow, 35 House Martin, 1 Meadow Pipit, 35 flava Wagtail, 12 Linnet.


There were only a few grounded migrants around: 1 Short-eared Owl, 2 Whinchat, 3 Wheatear, 1 Blackcap, 13 Willow Warbler. Other birds of note seen included 1 Scaup, 1 Merlin, 2 Ruff, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Green Sandpiper, 4 Mediterranean Gull (+ 9 north of the area).


The non-avian highlight of the day was a Minke Whale which drifted north quite close inshore.

Common Buzzard. Ian Smith

Common Buzzard. Ian Smith

Marsh Harrier. Ian Smith

Marsh Harrier. Ian Smith

18th August 2011 - Thursday

Sea/migration-watches – 07.00-09.15, 17.50-20.00. A bright start but clouding over by late morning, a light force 2-1 E wind.


A disappointing day with most migrants having cleared out overnight and hardly any passage and a very quiet tern roost movement. Migrants included a Short-eared Owl, 20 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Redstart, 6 Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, 1 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 8 Willow Warbler, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Treecreeper.


Moving south were 9 Teal, 23 Common Scoter, 2 Fulmar, 1 Shag, 91 Oystercatcher, 9 Sanderling, 11 Dunlin, 12 Arctic Skua, 3 Little Gull, 1 Black Tern, 850 Common Tern, 10 Arctic Tern.


Other birds seen included 1 Scaup, 1 Eider, 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 23,000 Knot, 6 Whimbrel, 1600 Redshank, 2 Greenshank and 9 Common Sandpiper.

Treecreeper. Andy Roadhouse

Treecreeper. Andy Roadhouse

Short-eared Owl. Ian Smith

Short-eared Owl. Ian Smith

17th August 2011 - Wednesday

Sea/migration-watches – 06.15-09.15, 13.30-20.30. Bright and sunny in a force 4 WNW veering E and decreasing to force 1 by the evening.


The evening sea-watch/tern roost was a good one with the highlight being two Sabine’s Gulls – an adult at 19.45 and a juvenile at 19.55, also a Balearic Shearwater flew N, while tern numbers included 47 Sandwich, 10,000 Common, 17 Arctic Tern and 10 Black Tern. Other seabirds seen were 100 Gannet, 2 Shag, 10 Arctic Skua, 1 Mediterranean Gull and 1 Little Gull.


There were a few more grounded migrants around from late morning: 1 Cuckoo, 1 Long-eared Owl, 1 Short-eared Owl, 35 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Redstart, 19 Whinchat, 1 Wheatear, 4 Reed Warbler, 2 Garden Warbler, 35 Willow Warbler and a Spotted Flycatcher.


Birds moving south included 19 Teal, 11 Common Scoter, 102 Oystercatcher, 4 Ringed Plover, 26 Grey Plover, 22 Knot, 29 Sanderling, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Whimbrel, 1 Greenshank, 4 Turnstone, 4 Swift, 7 Sand Martin, 111 Swallow, 2 House Martin, 27 flava Wagtail, 1 alba Wagtail. While other birds of note were 1 Gadwall, 6 Little Egret, 1 Peregrine, 1 Green Sandpiper.

16th August 2011 - Tuesday

Sea/migration-watches – 08.00-10.30, 13.30-20.30. Mostly sunny with variable amounts of cloud and a variable force 4 SSW-WNW wind.


A clear out in migrants left just 35 flava Wagtail, 2 Whinchat and 10 Willow Warblers.


Birds moving south included 7 Teal, 23 Common Scoter, 6 Cormorant, 90 Oystercatcher, 17 Ringed Plover, 35 Knot, 14 Sanderling, 26 Dunlin, 1 Snipe, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 52 Whimbrel, 4 Turnstone, 1 Pomarine Skua, 5 Arctic Skua, 1 Bonxie, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Little Gull, 1 Little Tern, 8 Black Tern, 1 Roseate Tern, 2530 Common Tern, 25 Arctic Tern, 138 Swift, 73 Sand Martin, 290 Swallow, 2 House Martin, 32 flava Wagtail, 3 alba Wagtails.


Other birds seen included 1 Hobby, 1 Peregrine, 15,000 Knot and 2 Greenshank on the Humber.

Portland Moth. Barry Spence. The 3rd for Spurn and 6th for Yorkshire.

Portland Moth. Barry Spence. The 3rd for Spurn and 6th for Yorkshire.

15th August 2011 - Monday

Sea/migration-watches – 06.00-11.45, 17.45-20.30. Mostly bright and sunny with cloud building from time to time, a light swinging SW-SE wind.


Unusual birds flying south included a Pectoral Sandpiper low over the Point calling at 11.40, also 3 Ospreys flew south in the morning. Other birds moving south included 40 Common Scoter, 1 Great Crested Grebe N, 1 Manx Shearwater N, 1 Shag N, 2 Marsh Harrier, 21 Oystercatcher, 1 Ringed Plover, 46 Knot, 4 Sanderling, 7 Dunlin, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Whimbrel, 1 Greenshank, 3 Turnstone, 4 Arctic Skua, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 7 Black Tern, 1 Roseate Tern, 3 Swift, 42 Sand Martin, 986 Swallow, 27 House Martin, 1 Tree Pipit, 65 flava Wagtail, 2 alba Wagtail.


There was also a nice increase in grounded migrants 12 Yellow Wagtail, 13 Whinchat, 7 Wheatear, 2 Redstart, 2 Reed Warbler, 2 Garden Warbler, 53 Willow Warbler, 1 Spotted Flycatcher.


Other birds seen included 3 Ruff, 2 Greenshank, 6 Whimbrel, 1 Yellow-legged Gull.

14th August 2011 - Sunday

Sea/migration-watches – 06.10-13.20, 16.45-20.00. Mainly cloudy but a few long sunny spells and feeling humid with a light WSW wind which picked up to force 3 in the evening.


An excellent day for hirundine passage with 119 Sand Martin, 7600 Swallow, 80 House Martin, also moving south were 16 Sheldduck, 278 Teal, 1 Garganey N, 3 Pintail, 10 Common Scoter, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Marsh Harrier +1 N, 1 Kestrel, 51 Oystercatcher, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 5 Ringed Plover, 377 Knot, 62 Sanderling, 2 Curlew Sandpiper in off, 8 Dunlin, 2 Snipe, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 18 Whimbrel, 4 Turnstone, 1 Yellow-legged Gull, 2 Black Tern, 17 Swift, 2 Tree Pipit, 4 Meadow Pipit, 78 flava Wagtail, 3 alba Wagtail, 3 Grey Wagtail.


Grounded birds today included 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 14 Yellow Wagtail, 6 Whinchat, 1 Wheatear, 1 Blackcap, 26 Willow Warbler, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Pied Flycatcher.


Masses of gulls were feeding on the Humber at low tide with at least 3000 Black-headed Gulls but also a record count of Mediterranean Gulls – 15, 1 Yellow-legged Gull and 51 Great Black-backed Gull. Other birds seen included 6 Little Egret, 52 Lapwing, 6 Whimbrel, 2 Green Sandpiper, 1 Bonxie.


On the insect front there was a notable passage of mainly Red Admirals flying south but also a Southern Hawker, a rare dragonfly at Spurn.

Merlin. John Hewitt

Merlin. John Hewitt

13th August 2011 - Saturday

Sea/migration-watches – 05.45-10.00, 14.30-21.00. Rain early to late morning then clearing to leave a pleasant afternoon and evening, a fresh SSE wind veered to the W and dropped to still by the evening.


There were just a few migrants remaining today: 5 Whinchat, 1 Wheatear, 10 Willow Warbler and a Pied Flycatcher.


There was a reasonable passage mainly over the sea with the following flying south: 1 Wigeon, 197 Teal, 2 Shoveler, 1 Garganey, 37 Common Scoter, 1 Grey Heron in, 3 Marsh Harrier, 4 Kestrel, 43 Oystercatcher, 32 Ringed Plover, 3 Golden Plover, 64 Grey Plover, 184 Knot + 104 in, 31 Sanderling, 38 Dunlin, 2 Ruff, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit + 4 in, 12 Whimbrel + 6 in, 2 Curlew, 9 Redshank, 21 Turnstone, 58 Swift, 60 Sand Martin, 100 Swallow, 46 House Martin, 9 flava Wagtail.


The evening roost movement was the best yet with 1 Pomarine Skua, 9 Arctic Skua, 2 Little Gull, 2 Little Tern, 6 Black Tern, 49 Sandwich Tern, 10,000 Common Tern, 6 Arctic Tern. Other birds seen included 1 Merlin, 1 Ruff, 3 Snipe, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Wood Sandpiper and 1 Common Sandpiper.

Ruff. Ian Smith

Ruff. Ian Smith

12th August 2011 - Friday

Sea-watches –06.30-09.30, 17.00-20.00. Overnight rain and NNE wind, a cloudy day with a force 2 NE-SE wind.


An expectant feeling this morning was realised when one lucky observer had 2 TWO-BARRED CROSSBILLS fly over Kew Villa and drop into Church Field, when he got there they were sat on the wires briefly before flying off north and looked like a female and a young bird. There was also a small arrival of migrants from mid-morning most notably two more additions to the Observatory year list – Wood Warbler at the Blue Bell and a Wryneck in Church Field. Other migrants included 1 Cuckoo, 9 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Whinchat, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Garden Warbler, 24 Willow Warbler, 3 Pied Flycatcher.


Birds moving south included 82 Teal, 79 Common Scoter, 2 Shag, 37 Oystercatcher, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 27 Knot, 7 Whimbrel, 3 Common Sandpiper, 4 Turnstone, 5 Arctic Skua, 1 Bonxie, 4 Black Tern, 11 Sandwich Tern, 2050 Common Tern, 28 Arctic Tern, 3 Sand Martin, 4 flava Wagtail.


Other birds seen included 1 Ruff, 1 Spotted Redshank,1 Green Sandpiper, while north of the area there were 7 Mediterranean and 1 Yellow-legged Gull in fields north of Long Bank and Redstart and Whinchat at Sammy’s Point.

Pied Flycatcher.Andy Roadhouse

Pied Flycatcher.Andy Roadhouse

11th August 2011 - Thursday

Sea-watches – 06.45-09.00, 15.30-19.15. A cloudy day with some rain showers in the morning, a strong WSW wind force 5+ dropping and veering to NNE force 2 by the evening.


A nice surprise when a juvenile male Nightjar was found in the heligoland trap at the Point mid-morning, after being ringed it flew out into the dunes. Other migrants seen today included 9 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Whinchat, a Garden Warbler and 8 Willow Warblers.


1670 Common Terns flew south between 15.30 and 17.30 then no roost movement to talk of after that probably due to the switch in wind direction. Other birds moving south included 1 Teal, 2 Common Scoter, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 68 Oystercatcher, 34 Knot, 1 Whimbrel, 3 Redshank, 8 Arctic Skua.


Other birds of note included 3 Scaup on the Humber, 9 Little Egret, 2 Ruff, 1 Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank and 2 Common Sandpiper.

juvenile male Nightjar. Andy Roadhouse

juvenile male Nightjar. Andy Roadhouse

Nightjar. Andy Roadhouse

Nightjar. Andy Roadhouse

10th August 2011

Sea-watch 07.00-14.00, 15.15-20.40. Some brightness early on but then rain on and off for most of the day which was heavy at times and a force 5-6 WSW wind for most of the day.


Another attempt at catching Storm Petrels took place last night and at 00.40 hrs two came into the net and one was caught. It was another day watching the sea, most birds were flying south: 14 Teal, 32 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver N, 1 Sooty Shearwater N, 466 Gannet (445 N), 294 Oystercatcher S, 11 Ringed Plover, 3 Golden Plover, 81 Knot, 17 Sanderling S, 1 stint sp, 1 possible Pectoral Sandpiper, 13 Dunlin, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 11 Whimbrel, 7 Redshank, 20 Turnstone, 11 Arctic Skua, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Yellow-legged Gull, 4 4 Black Tern, 34 Sandwich Tern, 7200 Common Tern and 208 Arctic Tern.


Other birds seen included 7 Little Egret, 1 Green Sandpiper and 6 Willow Warbler.


In the moth traps were another White-point, 2 Dark Sword Grass, 3 Silver Y.

9th August 2011 - Tuesday

Sea-watch 06.00-12.00, 14.15-20.00. Blustery for most of the day with a force 5+ NW-NNW wind which dropped late afternoon and veered ENE in the evening.


Most attention was given to the sea where the following were noted: 5 Teal S, 3 Scaup S, 5 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver N, 9 Fulmar N, 2 Sooty Shearwater N, 34 Manx Shearwater N, 600 Gannet (400 N), 1 Shag S, 140 Oystercatcher S, 6 Sanderling S, 2 Curlew S, 1 Pomarine Skua S, 44 Arctic Skua S, Bonxie 1 N, 475 Kittiwake (444 N), 1 Black Tern N, 600 Common Tern S.


Other birds seen included 1 Cuckoo, 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Whinchat, 1 Garden Warbler, 14 Willow Warbler.


In the moth traps were a White-point, 4 Dark Sword Grass, 3 Silver Y.

Garden Warbler. Andy Roadhouse

Garden Warbler. Andy Roadhouse

8th August 2011

Migration/sea-watch 06.00-12.00, sea-watch 14.00 – 15.45, 18.10-20.30. A pleasant start to the day clouding over by late morning and some light passing showers, then continuous rain from 3pm until dusk which was very heavy at times.


On the move south were 3 Scaup, 5 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver, 5 Fulmar, 1 Sooty Shearwater N, 1 Manx Shearwater, 1 Marsh Harrier U-turned, 220 Oystercatcher, 3 Ringed Plover, 42 Knot, 33 Sanderling, 4 Dunlin, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit, 19 Whimbrel, 3 Curlew, 30 Redshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 23 Turnstone, 6 Arctic Skua, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Little Gull, 45 Kittiwake, 20 Sandwich Tern, 2200 Common Tern, 77 Arctic Tern, 27 Swift, 6 Sand Martin, 330 Swallow, 20 House Martin.


Other birds seen included a Merlin, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 2 Wood Sandpiper, 3 Tree Pipit, 15 Yellow Wagtail, 14 Willow Warbler, 1 Treecreeper at Kew.


North of the area there was a Black Tern at Beacon Ponds.

migrating Oystercatchers. Justin Carr

migrating Oystercatchers. Justin Carr

7th August 2011 - Sunday

Migration/sea-watch 08.30-21.00. Cloudy for most of the day with a few light showers around mid-day, a force 2-4-2 W-NW-SW wind.


It was another good day over the sea with a Cory’s Shearwater which flew north in the morning and an in the early afternoon an Osprey flew south, also there were good numbers of waders moving, which included an adult Red-necked Phalarope with a tern flock in the evening, totals were (south unless stated): 6 Shelduck, 1 Wigeon, 29 Teal, 4 Scaup, 96 Common Scoter, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Fulmar, 3 Manx Shearwater, 1 Marsh Harrier in, 1 Peregrine, 450 Oystercatcher, 20 Ringed Plover, 5 Golden Plover, 2 Grey Plover, 175 Knot + 119 in, 49 Sanderling, 73 Dunlin, 26 Bar-tailed Godwit, 46 Whimbrel, 2 Spotted Redshank, 53 Redshank, 5 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper + 4 in, 2 Wood Sandpiper in, 32 Turnstone, 4 Arctic Skua, 154 Swift, 6 Sand Martin, 47 Swallow and a Yellow Wagtail.


The roost movement of terns was impressive with 9200 Common, 42 Arctic, 44 Sandwich and a Black Tern, also 2 Little Gulls.


On the migrants front there were just 15 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Willow Warbler, a Pied Flycatcher and a Crossbill.

juvenile Osprey. Justin Carr

juvenile Osprey. Justin Carr

migrating Greenshanks. Justin Carr

migrating Greenshanks. Justin Carr

6th August 2011 - Saturday

Migration/sea-watch 06.10-11.00, 17.00-18.00. Mainly cloudy with some rain showers in the afternoon and again in the evening some of which were heavy.


The first Pied Flycatcher of the autumn arrived as did a Whinchat, a Wheatear, 2 Sedge Warblers and 11 Willow Warblers.


Moving south (unless stated otherwise0 were 45 Common Scoter, 2 Red-throated Diver, 9 Fulmar, 360 Oystercatcher, 2 Golden Plover, 58 Knot, 75 Sanderling, 70 Dunlin, 1 Ruff, 5 Whimbrel, 73 Redshank, 22 Turnstone, 5 Arctic Skua, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 4 Swift, 4 Sand Martin, 138 Swallow, 8 House Martin.


Other birds seen included 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, 11 Greenshank, 3 Arctic Tern, while in fields by Sammy’s Point there were 13 Mediterranean Gulls.

5th August 2011 - Friday

Migration/sea-watch 06.30 – 20.45. A warm and sunny day with occasional cloud cover and a light W-WNW wind.


A good day for Swallow passage with 3500 flying south, also moving south were 3 Teal, 2 Tufted Duck, 1 Fulmar, 1 Manx Shearwater, 2 Marsh Harrier, 1 Hobby, 308 Oystercatcher, 1 Ringed Plover, 23 Knot, 13 Sanderling, 8 Dunlin, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 9 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew, 11 Redshank, 3 Green Sandpiper, 1 Turnstone, 1 Pomarine Skua, 5 Arctic Skua, 26 Swift, 66 Sand Martin and48 House Martin.


The best tern roost movement so far with 6200 Common and 4 Arctic Terns south, while other notable birds included 1 Shag, 1 Peregrine, a Wood Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, 24 Yellow Wagtail, a Tree Pipit, a Wheatear, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 10 Willow Warbler, a Treecreeper. A petrel catching session between 10.30 pm and 01.30 am was the best ever at Spurn with at least 6 Storm Petrels coming to the net and 4 trapped and ringed.

Storm Petrel. Ian Smith

Storm Petrel. Ian Smith

Storm Petrel. Ian Smith

Storm Petrel. Ian Smith

4th August 2011 - Thursday

Migration/sea-watch 05.3 – 12.00. A bright start clouded over with rain by late afternoon in a force 1-3 W wind.


A few birds moving particularly waders south over the sea, totals included 1 Shelduck, 5 Teal, 1 Tufted Duck in, 4 Common Scoter, 201 Oystercatcher, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Ringed Plover, 29 Knot, 42 Sanderling, 51 Dunlin, 22 Whimbrel, 23 Redshank, 63 Swift, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 17 Sand Martin, 93 Swallow, 69 House Martin.


Other birds seen included 4 Little Egret, 3 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Roseate Terns ( 1 S, 1 at Chalk Bank), 16 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Reed Warbler, 5 Willow Warbler.

adult Roseate Tern. Martin Standley

adult Roseate Tern. Martin Standley

Roseate Tern. Martin Standley

Roseate Tern. Martin Standley

3rd August 2011 - Wednesday

Migration/sea-watch 06.30-11.45, 15.45-17.00, 18.30 – 20.00. Cloudy to start, clearing to leave sunny spells and a light variable wind.


There were a few birds on the move again including the first decent Swallow passage of the autumn, moving (south unless stated) were: 23 Teal, 3 Shoveler, 2 Tufted Duck, 1 Eider N, 23 Common Scoter, 1 Red-breasted Merganser N, 34 Oystercatcher, 13 Knot, 2 Sanderling, 28 Whimbrel, 1 Turnstone, 1 Arctic Skua, 2 Black Tern, 8 Swift, 54 Sand Martin, 555 Swallow, 12 House Martin.


Other birds seen today included 3 Snipe, 16 Whimbrel, 1 Spotted Redshank, 3 Greenshank, 3 Green Sandpiper, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 3 Yellow-legged Gull, 2 Cuckoo, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Tree Pipit, 14 Yellow Wagtail, 12 Willow Warbler.

2nd August 2011 - Tuesday

Sea/migration-watch 05.50-12.00, 14.00 – 15.30, 18.10-20.00. Some sunny spells with thundery clouds building in the afternoon, a force 3-4 SSE wind.


More passage south today saw 2 Shelduck, 8 Teal, 4 Shoveler, 30 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Marsh Harrier, 39 Oystercatcher, 19 Knot, 22 Sanderling, 46 Dunlin, 34 Whimbrel, 6 Turnstone, 1 Pomarine Skua, 2 Little Gull, 31 Swift, 52 Sand Martin, 18 Swallow, 10 House Martin.


Other birds of note included 2 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 12 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Willow Warbler.

1st August 2011 - Monday

Sea-watch 06.45 – 12.00, 15.15-17.00, 18.00-19.30. Cloudy all day in a force 2-4 SSE-SE wind.


On the move south were 1 Shelduck, 4 Teal, 1 Pintail, 31 Common Scoter, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Fulmar, 1 Manx Shearwater, 1 Grey Plover, 17 Knot, 20 Sanderling, 6 Dunlin, 62 Whimbrel, 1 Curlew, 2 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 2 Arctic Skua, 16 Arctic Tern, 69 Swift, 54 Sand Martin, 64 Swallow, 98 House Martin, 2 flava Wagtail.


Other birds seen included 1 Shag, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Cuckoo, 12 Yellow Wagtail and 3 Willow Warbler.

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