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November 2011 Sightings

30th November 2011 - Wednesday

Sea-watch- 07.30-10.30, 14.00-15.30. The SW wind eased to a force 4-3 and some long sunny spells made for a much better day.


A Little Owl and a Short-eared Owl were both seen in the Triangle, a Redwing was in Church Field and 23 Snow Buntings were along New Road.


Moving south over the sea were 4 Whooper Swan, 27 White-fronted Geese, 1 Brent Goose, 4 Wigeon, 1 Eider, 4 Common Scoter, 1 Velvet Scoter, 1 Goldeneye, 39 Red-throated Diver, 6 Gannet, 312 Herring Gull, 16 auk sp and 11 Guillemot.


Other birds seen included 7 Black-tailed Godwit and a Mediterranean Gull.

29th November 2011 - Tuesday

Sea-watch- 07.30-11.00. With a near gale force S-SW winds and some heavy rain showers, the only birding done was looking at the sea.


Birds seen over the sea were 1 Shelduck, 13 Wigeon, 1 Pintail, 3 Common Scoter, 1 Goosander, 10 Red-throated Diver, 1 Leach’s Petrel S at 10.10, 13 Gannet, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 2 Kittiwake, 14 auk sp, 1 Guillemot, 1 Razorbill, 4 Little Auk S.

28th November 2011 - Monday

Sea-watch- 07.30-10.30, 14.10-15.00. A cold force 2-3 SW wind, mainly cloudy with a few sunny spells.


Birds moving south today were 13 Whooper Swan, 9 Pink-footed Geese, 1 Eider, 55 Common Scoter, 24 Red-throated Diver, 37 Gannet, 4 Lapwing, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 565 Herring Gull, 2 auk sp N, 1 Snow Bunting.


Other birds seen included 3 White-fronted Geese on the Humber, 2 Redwing and 1 Brambling.


The road to Spurn remains closed until further notice with lots of damage to the road and a lot of sand and debris deposited. Is this the end of a permanent road to Spurn? all photos taken by Barry Spence.

The 'road' between the Warren and the Narrows

The 'road' between the Warren and the Narrows

27th November 2011 - Sunday

Sea-watch- 07.15-16.00. A strong W wind decreased to a force 3 late in the day, plenty of sunny intervals.


An excellent day’s sea-watching which included breaking the Herring Gull record (9,900) which has stood since 1978. A total of 10,881 flew south during the day with other gulls also involved: 1 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Little Gull, 161 Black- headed Gull, 906 Common Gull, 2 Lesser B.B.Gull, 600 Great B.B.Gull.


Other birds moving south were 33 Whooper Swan, 7 White-fronted Geese, 291 Pink-footed Geese, 3 Wigeon, 1 Teal, 1 Pintail, 1 Mallard, 1 Tufted Duck, 2 Eider, 10 Common Scoter, 1 Goosander, 71 Red-throated Diver, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Manx Shearwater, 228 Gannet, 4 Cormorant, 1 Hen Harrier, 6 Pomarine Skua, 4 Bonxie, 45 auk sp, 2 Little Auk .


Other birds seen included 2 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 200 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Greenshank, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing, 1 Blackcap, 1 Goldcrest and 2 Snow Bunting.

26th November 2011 - Saturday

Sea-watch 07.15-10.45, 12.50-15.40. At least force 5 W wind all day, a day of sunshine and clouds.


With the strong winds most activity was over the sea, 14 Whooper Swan, 1317 Pink-footed Geese, 1 White-fronted Goose + 4 in off, 5 Brent Geese, 1 Teal, 1 Scaup, 5 Eider, 14 Common Scoter, 5 Velvet Scoter, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 47 Red-throated Diver, 3 Gannet, 1 Bonxie, 4 Little Gull, 1 Lesser B.B.Gull, 544 Herring Gull S, 79 Great B.B.Gull S, 2 Kittiwake, 11 auk sp, 2 Razorbill and 3 Little Auk.


The only other birds seen included 60 Wigeon, 65 Sanderling, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Goldcrest and a Snow Bunting.

25th November 2011 - Friday

Sea-watch 07.20-11.20, 15.00-16.15. A bright and sunny start clouding up later with some showers in the afternoon, a strengthening force 3-5+ W wind.


A Water Rail on the road at the lighthouse was a surprise, but the only other migrants seen were a Chiffchaff and 2 Goldcrest.


Birds on the move south were 5 Whooper Swan, 267 Pink-footed Geese, 2 Wigeon, 1 Eider, 8 Common Scoter, 1 Velvet Scoter, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 49 Red-throated Diver, 1 Fulmar, 2 Gannet, 3 Cormorant, 1 Sparrowhawk, 3 Oystercatcher, 1 Lapwing, 1 Curlew, 104 Common Gull, 325 Herring Gull, 23 Kittiwake, 11 auk sp, 2 Stock Dove, 11 Wood Pigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 3 Greenfinch, 1 Siskin, 3 Linnet, 1 Snow Bunting.

24th November 2011 - Thursday

Sea-watch 07.15-09.30, 14.30-15.45. Dull and cloudy all day with a stiff force 4+ SSW-SW wind.


Winter mode is setting in at Spurn with few birders during the week and few birds. Todays birds included 42 Pink-footed Geese, 4 Greylag Geese, 1 Teal, 2 Common Scoter, 3 Velvet Scoter, 71 Herring Gull and 65 Great B.B.Gull all south, with other birds present being a Black Redstart, 2 Redwing, 1 Blackcap and 3 Snow Bunting.

23rd November 2011 - Wednesday

Sea-watch 07.15-10.15, 14.00-15.00. Another dull day with just the odd glimpse of the sun, a force 1-3 SSW-W wind.


6 White-fronted Geese U-turned, while moving south were 6 Whooper Swan, 2 Shoveler, 2 Tufted Duck, 4 Eider, 6 Common Scoter, 1 Velvet Scoter, 4 Red-breasted Merganser, 50 Red-throated Diver, 5 Gannet, 2 Cormorant, 9 Lapwing, 1 Bonxie, 26 Wood Pigeon, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Rock Pipit, 1 alba Wagtail, 3 Greenfinch, 28 Goldfinch, 2 Linnet, 2 Lesser Redpoll.


Other birds seen included 1 Long-eared Owl, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Fieldfare, 2 Song Thrush, 2 Redwing, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Snow Bunting.

22nd November 2011 - Tuesday

Sea-watch 07.25-09.45. Cloudy with rain until late morning and a few bright spells in the afternoon, a force 1 SW-NW wind.


Another quiet day, moving south were 20 Wigeon, 21 Teal, 1 Shoveler, 1 Pochard, 7 Common Scoter, 3 Red-breasted Merganser, 22 Red-throated Diver, 1 Lapwing, 60 Knot and 45 Dunlin.


Other birds seen included 3 Sparrowhawk, 1 Merlin, 1 Long-eared Owl, 59 Blackbird, 1 Fieldfare, 4 Song Thrush, 9 Redwing, 1 Goldcrest and 1 Lesser Redpoll.

21st November 2011 - Monday

Sea-watches 07.10-10.30, 14.00-15.30. A dull day with occasional sunny spells, a light SSE wind.


A quiet day with some light passage which included 94 Pink-footed Geese, 7 Wigeon, 1 Gadwall, 8 Teal, 3 Shoveler, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 17 Common Scoter, 35 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 157 Herring Gull, 1 Swallow, 4 Meadow Pipit, 5 Greenfinch, 12 Goldfinch, 1 Linnet, 3 Siskin.


Other birds seen included 1 Snipe, 1 Black Redstart, 46 Blackbird, 3 Song Thrush, 14 Redwing, 1 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff and 2 Snow Bunting.

Sanderling.  Ian Smith

Sanderling. Ian Smith

20th November 2011

Sea-watches 07.00-10.50, 13.25-16.00. A bright sunny day with thick fog rolling in from time to time, a light S-SSW wind.


The warbler in Easington gave itself up today and was identified as a Yellow-browed Warbler when it started calling properly and also in different light appeared completely different – unless there were two birds?!!!!! Also north of the area there was a Tundra Bean Goose north of Long Bank and 22 Tundra Bean Geese and 31 White-fronted Geese near Skeffling.


The highlights in the recording area included a lingering Grey Phalarope on the sea off the Warren and a Bewick’s Swan flew south at the same time. A Tundra Bean Goose was blogging and another 2 flew south as did 2 White-fronted Geese, 38 ‘grey’ geese, 659 Pink-footed Geese, 142 Wigeon, 4 Gadwall, 6 Teal, 3 Pochard, 2 Tufted Duck, 12 Common Scoter, 1 Velvet Scoter, 4 Red-breasted Merganser, 19 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 10 Lapwing, 1 Little Gull, 35 Stock Dove, 80 Wood Pigeon, 3 Skylark, 7 Meadow Pipit, 3 Rock Pipit, 1 alba Wagtail, 4 Tree Sparrow, 1 Brambling, 4 Greenfinch, 9 Goldfinch, 3 Linnet, 4 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Lapland Bunting, 5 Snow Bunting, 1 Yellowhammer.


Grounded birds were 3 Short-eared Owl, 8 Skylark, 1 Black Redstart, 96 Blackbird, 1 Fieldfare, 10 Song Thrush, 11 Redwing, 4 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, 11 Goldcrest, 1 Brambling, 2 Snow Bunting. A Mediterranean Gull and a Greenshank were on the Humber.

Black Redstart.  Ian Smith

Black Redstart. Ian Smith

19th November 2011 - Saturday

Sea-watches 07.30-10.15. A bright and sunny day with a light SSE wind, making for a very pleasant day.


A Yellow-browed/Hume’s Leaf Warbler was found mid afternoon in Easington n the south side of the gas terminal, a confusing bird which called more like Hume’s on all occasions apart from one when it did a Yellow-browed type call but looks more like a Hume’s! Hopefully better photos or a sound recording can be taken if the bird is still present tomorrow. Also north of the area 19 Tundra Bean Geese and 23 White-fronted Geese were in fields just west of Easington, and a Black Redstart and 23 Twite were seen at Sammy’s Point.


In the area there were definite sightings of the Dusky Warbler but migrants seen included 1 Short-eared Owl, 25 Robin, 1 Black Redstart, 50 Blackbird, 16 Fieldfare, 8 Song Thrush, 18 Redwing, 4 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler at the Point, 8 Goldcrest, 7 Lapland Bunting, 6 Snow Bunting.


There was some light passage south: 81 Pink-footed Geese, 1 Greylag Geese, 58 Wigeon, 7 Teal, 4 Eider, 99 Common Scoter, 7 Red-breasted Merganser, 13 Red-throated Diver, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Hen Harrier, 1 Sparrowhawk, 6 Knot, 14 Stock Dove, 84 Wood Pigeon, 4 Skylark, 1 Swallow, 10 Meadow Pipit, 10 Rock Pipit, 2 alba Wagtail, 4 Jackdaw, 5 Rook, 17 Starling, 19 Tree Sparrow, 9 Chaffinch, 18 Greenfinch, 13 Goldfinch, 8 Siskin, 9 Linnet, 2 Redpoll, 24 Snow Bunting, 2 Reed Bunting.


Other birds seen included: 35 Barnacle and 35 White-fronted Geese early on but disappeared, 5 Little Egret, 2 Greenshank, 2 Merlin, 1 Peregrine.

Yellow browed Warbler.  Ian Smith

Yellow browed Warbler. Ian Smith

Yellow browed Warbler.  Ian Smith

Yellow browed Warbler. Ian Smith

Hen Harrier.  Ian Smith

Hen Harrier. Ian Smith

18th November 2011 - Friday

Sea-watches 07.15-10.50, 13.00-14.30. A brighter day which was mostly cloudy with some sunny spells and a force 2-3 SSW wind.


A better day, the Dusky Warbler was seen again at the Point but still remained elusive, the record count for White-fronted Geese was broken when 142 were logged (94 came in one flock and continued west, 12 came in and continued south and 36 came into the area and returned to Long Bank along with now 11 Tundra Bean Geese, 1 Pink-footed Goose and 36 Barnacle Goose. The Brent Goose flock at Long Bank has now built up to 779 with 3 Pale-belliedss.


There was some steady passage south and included 16 grey geese, 1 Greylag Goose, 14 Eider, 40 Common Scoter, 29 Red-throated Diver, 1 juv Hen Harrier, 110 Lapwing, 1 Bonxie, 30 Stock Dove, 180 Wood Pigeon, 3 Meadow Pipit, 3 Rock Pipit, 15 Tree Sparrow, 12 Chaffinch, 18 Greenfinch, 34 Goldfinch, 9 Siskin, 12 Linnet, 2 Redpoll, 1 Lapland Bunting, 1 Snow Bunting.


Other birds seen included1 Gadwall, 1Tufted Duck, 1 Great Northern Diver on the Humber, 1 Peregrine, 1 Merlin, 1 Woodcock, 1 Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 1 Little Auk on the Humber, 2 Long-eared Owl, 1 Black Redstart, 44 Fieldfare, 8 Song Thrush, 23 Redwing, 4 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, 11 Goldcrest, 1 Brambling, 1 Snow Bunting.

All geese photos Ian Smith. A nice mixed flock of geese at Long Bank with 1 Pink-footed bottom right, 3 Tundra Bean, 2 Barnacle and 5 Eurasian White-fonted Geese

All geese photos Ian Smith. A nice mixed flock of geese at Long Bank with 1 Pink-footed bottom right, 3 Tundra Bean, 2 Barnacle and 5 Eurasian White-fonted Geese

Barnacle and Eurasian White-fronted Geese

Barnacle and Eurasian White-fronted Geese

migrating Eurasian White-fronted Geese flying south over the Humber

migrating Eurasian White-fronted Geese flying south over the Humber

17th November 2011 - Thursday

Sea-watches 07.15-09.30, 14.15-15.00. A foggy damp cloudy start, slowly clearing giving the odd sunny spell later on, a force 3-2 SW wind.


A quiet day with some light passage and just a few grounded migrants: 9 Pink-footed Geese, 16 Teal, 2 Tufted Duck, 1 Eider + 4 N, 5 Common Scoter, 1 Goldeneye, 11 Red-16 Golden Plover, 13 Knot, 2 auk sp, 2 Guillemot, 2 Siskin, 4 Linnet, 1 Twite, 4 Snow Bunting.


Other birds seen included 1 Woodcock, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Wheatear, 158 Blackbird, 21 Fieldfare, 11 Song Thrush, 15 Redwing, 7 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, 5 Goldcrest, 3 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Brambling, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Snow Bunting.


7 Tundra Bean Geese were reported at Long Bank.

16th November 2011 - Wednesday

Sea-watches 07.15-11.00. Another mainly cloudy day with a light SE wind.


A much quieter day although the ringed Dusky Warbler was still present at the Point. 38 Barnacle Geese and 29 White-fronted Geese were blogging.


Over the sea were 96 Teal, 2 Tufted Duck, 4 Eider, 182 Common Scoter, 2 Velvet Scoter, 8 Goldeneye, 7 Red-breasted Merganser, 47 Red-throated Diver, 17 Gannet, 11 Knot, 38 Dunlin, 1 Bonxie, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 3 Razorbill.


Migrants included 1 Short-eared Owl, 8 Meadow Pipit, 1 Black Redstart, 260 Blackbird, 57 Fieldfare, 60 Redwing, 7 Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff, the Willow Warbler again in Church Field, 14 Goldcrest, 2 Brambling, 20 Siskin, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Lapland Bunting, 2 Snow Bunting.

15th November 2011 - Tuesday

Sea-watches 07.30-10.15, 12.45-14.30. A few clouds but generally a sunny day with a force 2-3 ESE wind.


The ringed Dusky Warbler was still present and showed quite well on a couple of occasions in the Elder patches at the Point. The Wood Lark was still present at the Point and another flew south and was lost half way over the Humber heading towards Lincolnshire. There was more goose activity with 4 White-fronted Geese and 8 Barnacle Geese flying south, while north of the area there were still 37 Barnacle Geese and these were joined by a flock of 4 Tundra Bean Geese and 39 White-fronted Geese that had been seen at Rimswell early in the day, The White-fronts also came into the area later in the day. Also north of the area a CATTLE EGRET had been seen at Weeton a few miles to the west of Easington but was later seen flying over Willow Cottage in Easington.


Grounded migrants were again in reduced numbers with 1 Woodcock, 1 Short-eared Owl, 1 Ring Ouzel, 160 Blackbird, 17 Fieldfare, 48 Redwing, 1 Mistle Thrush, 8 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 10 Goldcrest, 18 Chaffinch, 1 Brambling, 3 Snow Bunting.


There was some light passage over the sea and land and this included 5 Greylag Geese, 13 Wigeon, 20 Eider, 1 Long-tailed Duck , 197 Common Scoter, 2 Velvet Scoter, 2 Goldeneye, 65 Red-throated Diver, 9 Little Gull, 3 Little Auk, 9 Skylark, 7 Meadow Pipit, 1 Rock Pipit, 8 Goldfinch, 12 Siskin, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Lapland Bunting.


Other birds seen included 1 Tufted Duck, 3 Sparrowhawk, 2 Merlin, 1 Water Rail.

14th November 2011 - Monday

Sea-watches 07.05-09.00. Cloudy and cool all day with a force 2-3 SSE-ENE wind.


The 2 Dusky Warblers were still present at the Point but both very elusive, however the one in the elders by the green beacon was trapped and ringed late in the afternoon. New in was a Pallas’s Warbler which flew out of the Church Field to the back of the Churchyard, however it wasn’t seen again, but another was reported late afternoon from post 37 and this will be looked for tomorrow. A Grey Phalarope was flying round over the Humber for a short while early on while other migrants present were 3 Woodcock, 1 Short-eared Owl, 1 Wood Lark at the Point, 53 Robin, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Ring Ouzel, 255 Blackbird, 43 Fieldfare, 14 Song Thrush, 40 Redwing, 3 Mistle Thrush, 13 Blackcap, 11 Chiffchaff, 24 Goldcrest, 29 Chaffinch, 5 Brambling, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Bullfinch, 1 Snow Bunting.


There was some steady passage for the time of year, moving south were 12 Greylag Geese, 5 Eurasian White-fronted Geese, 6 Common Scoter, 1 Velvet Scoter, 3 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 2 Arctic Skua, 485 Wood Pigeon, 1 Common Swift, 4 Meadow Pipit, 6 Rock Pipit, 2 alba Wagtail, 3 Rook, 180 Starling, 10 Tree Sparrow, 20 Chaffinch, 23 Greenfinch, 78 Goldfinch, 14 Siskin, 22 Linnet, 2 Snow Bunting, 4 Yellowhammer and 3 Corn Bunting.


Other birds of note were 25 Eider, 2 Merlin, 1 Water Rail, 1 Ruff, 1 Spotted Redshank and 37 Barnacle Geese still in fields north of Long Bank.


The moth traps produced a Rusty-dot Pearl and a Diamond-back with 1 Rusty-dot Pearl and 4 Silver Y the night previously.

Dusky Warbler.  Adam Hutt

Dusky Warbler. Adam Hutt

Dusky Warbler.  Adam Hutt

Dusky Warbler. Adam Hutt

13th November 2011 - Sunday

Sea-watches 07.15-08.30, 1200-12.30. Cold, grey and misty start to the day which eventually burnt off by late morning, to leave a sunny but cool afternoon, a light force 1-2 SSE-ESE wind.


There was very little passage over the sea or land but some more new arrivals brought with them 2 Dusky Warblers in the afternoon. One was found in the buckthorn in the outer dunes mid-afternoon and remained elusive despite calling frequently and still there at dusk, then another late on was found in the elders 30 metres inland from the green beacon. The Great Grey Shrike was quite showy at the Point it the morning but disappeared in the afternoon, at least one Wood Lark was still at the Point, the Richard’s Pipit was seen around the Warren in the morning and then disappeared but one was found at Sammy’s Point in the afternoon and may have been the same bird. 3 Tundra Bean Geese flew south and another 5 were in the Triangle early on before flying off north and joining the goose flock north of Long Bank which held 37 Barnacles and 27 Eurasian White-fronted Geese.


Other migrants seen included 11 Woodcock, 2 Short-eared Owl, 2 Rock Pipit, 50 Robin, 1 Black Redstart, 4 Ring Ouzel, 480 Blackbird, 50 Fieldfare, 25 Song Thrush, 74 Redwing, 8 Blackcap, 14 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, 16 Goldcrest, 1 Brambling, 1 Mealy Redpoll, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Lapland Bunting.


Other birds of note seen included 14 Pochard, 2 Tufted Duck, 17 Eider, 5 Common Scoter, 5 Red-breasted Merganser, 11 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Marsh Harrier N, 1 Sparrowhawk S, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 5 Snipe, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank.


In a year where we keep breaking records, the November record for number of species was also broken today and we’re not even half way through the month, 149 species have been counted so far this month and the year list now stands at 254.

Great Grey Shrike.  Mick Turton

Great Grey Shrike. Mick Turton

Part of the flock of Barnacle Geese.  Ian Smith

Part of the flock of Barnacle Geese. Ian Smith

White-fronted and Brent Geese.  ian Smith

White-fronted and Brent Geese. ian Smith

12th November 2011 - Saturday

Sea-watches 07.15-11.00, 11.20-16.30. A few clouds in the morning soon cleared to leave a warm and sunny day, from still to a force 2 SSW wind.


Another superb day at Spurn, the main feature of the day was the wildfowl passage, the first Bean Goose of the year will probably turn out to be a Tundra when time allows to check the photos, also at least 24 White-fronted Geese were recorded including a tired bird at the Point, the record of 46 Red-breasted Merganser was smashed when 77 flew south, a total of 22 species of wildfowl were recorded today and totals included (all moving south) 18 Whooper Swan, 32 Pink-footed Geese, 7 Greylag Geese, 2 Barnacle Geese, 65 Brent Geese, 36 Shelduck, 462 Wigeon, 5 Gadwall, 364 Teal, 24 Mallard, 14 Pintail, 48 Shoveler, 3 Pochard, 7 Scaup, 32 Eider, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 117 Common Scoter, 3 Velvet Scoter, 57 Goldeneye, 2 Goosander. Also a few waders moving included 350 Lapwing, 45 Knot, 29 Dunlin, 7 Snipe, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit.


It was another good day for grounded birds with a Richard’s Pipit coming in off the sea and was also trapped and ringed, a Great Grey Shrike was at the Point, 3 Waxwings came in off, a Wood Lark flew south over Kew and later turned up at the Point where it joined the other bird. Other migrant totals included 1 Jack Snipe, 11 Woodcock, 5 Short-eared Owl, 9 Skylark, 106 Robin, 2 Black Redstart, 1 Stonechat, 750 Blackbird, 65 Fieldfare, 34 Song Thrush, 70 Redwing, 5 Mistle Thrush, 13 Blackcap, 15 Chiffchaff, l Willow Warbler, 34 Goldcrest, 2 Brambling, 2 Mealy Redpoll , 15 Snow Bunting and 28 Reed Bunting.


Moving south were 1 Sparrowhawk, 3 Mediterranean Gull, 3 Bonxie, 2 Little Auk, 8 Skylark, 36 Meadow Pipit, 14 Rock Pipit, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 alba Wagtail, 30 Tree Sparrow, 9 Chaffinch, 3 Brambling, 12 Greenfinch, 34 Goldfinch, 43 Siskin, 23 Linnet, 1 Twite, 16 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Lapland Bunting, 1 Snow Bunting, 3 Yellowhammer, 6 Reed Bunting.


North of the area geese were joining the Brent Goose flock north of Long Bank and included 37 Barnacle and 28 White-fronted Geese with another 5 Bean Geese which flew off west. There was also a Northern Wheatear at Sammy’s Point.

Tundra Bean Goose.  John Hewitt

Tundra Bean Goose. John Hewitt

ad Eurasian White-fronted Goose and 1st winter Tundra Bean Goose. Ian Smith

ad Eurasian White-fronted Goose and 1st winter Tundra Bean Goose. Ian Smith

Richard's Pipit. Ian Smith

Richard's Pipit. Ian Smith

Richard's Pipit. Ian Smith

Richard's Pipit. Ian Smith

11th November 2011 - Friday

Sea-watches 07.0-11.30, 12.15-16.00. Overcast all day and cold with a force 3-4 ESE wind.


The Wood Lark was still showing well at the Point and another bird flew north over the Triangle and appeared to land in the fields west of Beacon Lane. There was another good influx of Woodcocks which totaled 24 and another grounded migrant totals included 1 Jack Snipe, 1 Long-eared Owl, 1 Short-eared Owl, 55 Robin, 1 Stonechat, 365 Blackbird, 245 Fieldfare, 15 Song Thrush, 95 Redwing, 7 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, 29 Goldcrest, 1 Brambling, 1 Mealy Redpoll, 4 Lesser Redpoll.


It was another good day for wildfowl passage, but hardly any small birds: 6 Pink-footed Geese, 1 Greylag Goose, 10 Brent Geese, 44 Wigeon, 2 Gadwall, 350 Teal, 32 Mallard, 4 Pintail, 16 Tufted Duck, 28 Scaup, 5 Eider, 146 Common Scoter, 5 Velvet Scoter, 16 Goldeneye, 17 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Goosander, 46 Lapwing, 3 Knot, 2 Dunlin, 1 Skylark, 2 Siskin.


Other birds seen were 12 Red-throated Diver, 2 Merlin, 1 Water Rail, 1 Greenshank, 1 Bonxie.

Pintail, Wigeon and Teal migrating.

Pintail, Wigeon and Teal migrating.

10th November 2011 - Thursday

Sea/migration-watches 07.15-10.25, 13.30-16.20. A sunny start which had clouded over by mid-morning then fog rolled in for a few hours and then a clear afternoon, a force 1-3 SSE-SE wind.


The Wood Lark was still showing well at the Point and there were 3 Mealy Redpolls there along with another in the Crown car park, also the Siberian Chiffchaff was seen again at the Point and at least 3 Waxwings were seen early on, also a Shore Lark flew south mid-morning.


There was some light passage in the morning and duck passage picked up in the afternoon with the following totals: 3 Mute Swan, 116 Pink-footed Geese, 1 Greylag Goose, 6 Brent Geese, 2 Shelduck, 70 Wigeon, 4 Gadwall, 58 Teal, 2 Mallard, 6 Pintail, 14 Shoveler, 49 Tufted Duck, 29 Scaup, 20 Eider, 323 Common Scoter, 2 Velvet Scoter, 16 Goldeneye, 8 Red-breasted Merganser, 4 Sparrowhawk, 13 Oystercatcher, 4 Dunlin, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 61 Skylark, 31 Meadow Pipit, 8 Rock Pipit, 1 Jackdaw, 2 Rook, 6 Carrion Crow, 46 Tree Sparrow, 15 Chaffinch, 3 Brambling, 34 Greenfinch, 30 Goldfinch, 37 Siskin, 27 Linnet, 4 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Snow Bunting, 2 Yellowhammer.


Grounded migrants had reduced again, although from weights of birds ringed new ones were still arriving: 1 Jack Snipe, 2 Woodcock, 1 Long-eared Owl, 2 Short-eared Owl, 69 Robin, 4 Black Redstart, 2 Stonechat, 210 Blackbird, 230 Fieldfare, 7 Song Thrush, 46 Redwing, 5 Mistle Thrush, 10 Blackcap, 11 Chiffchaff, the Willow Warbler still at Kew, 47 Goldcrest, 2 Brambling, 20 Reed Bunting.

Black Redstart.  Richard Willison

Black Redstart. Richard Willison

9th November 2011 - Wednesday

Sea-watches 10.20-12.00, 12.50-13.50, 15.00-16.00. Cloudy all day and misty in the morning, a force 3-4 SSE wind.


The PIED WHEATEAR was seen briefly early morning but with 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel and a Merlin in the area, the bird must have been taken or scared off as it wasn’t seen after about 8.30. The ARCTIC REDPOLL was also only seen first thing before it flew off north up Beacon Lane but not seen again, although a probable was seen at the Point mid-afternoon. 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs were still present at the Warren and the Point, 2 Waxwings flew south,also a possible Short-toed Lark was seen fleetingly on a few occasions just before dusk at the Narrows and another look for the bird will take place in the morning.


There was a slight decrease in common migrants but still plenty of birds to watch and enjoy, migrant totals were 8 Woodcock, 1 Long-eared Owl, 5 Short-eared Owl, the Wood Lark still at the Point, 140 Robin, 5 Black Redstart, 1 Stonechat, 1 Northern Wheatear, 3 Ring Ouzel, 675 Blackbird, 1170 Fieldfare, 24 Song Thrush, 335 Redwing, 14 Blackcap, 17 Chiffchaff, 50 Goldcrest, 25 Chaffinch, 8 Brambling, 4 Siskin, 1 Mealy Redpoll, 3 Lesser Redpoll, 4 Snow Bunting.


There was some light passage of ducks over the sea and a few passerines flying south: 2 Bewick’s Swans, 52 Greylag Geese, 17 Brent Geese, 116 Wigeon, 7 Gadwall, 135 Teal, 5 Mallard, 1 Tufted Duck, 18 Scaup, 10 Eider, 23 Common Scoter, 4 Goldeneye, 3 Red-breasted Merganser, 56 Lapwing, 4 Knot, 1 Snipe, 5 Skylark, 62 Meadow Pipit, 4 Rock Pipit, 4 alba Wagtail, 5 Chaffinch, 1 Brambling, 28 Greenfinch, 14 Goldfinch, 44 Siskin, 6 Linnet, 6 Twite, 7 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Lapland Bunting.


North of the area there was a Richard’s Pipit and a Ring Ouzel seen at Sammy’s Point and 7 Waxwings in Easington.

Bramblings. Richard Willison

Bramblings. Richard Willison

some more photos of the Pied Wheatear take yesterday. Rob Adams

some more photos of the Pied Wheatear take yesterday. Rob Adams

Richard Willison

Richard Willison

Eichard Willison

Eichard Willison

8th November 2011 - Tuesday

Sea-watches 07.20-07.50. Another overcast and misty day with a few spots of rain, a force 3 ESE-SE wind.


A superb day at Spurn, with common migrants increasing in numbers and plenty of rare and scarce birds for everyone to enjoy. A first-year female PIED WHEATEAR was found at the Point by the Lifeboat houses and showed well for most of the day there or on the beach ranging a few hundred metres south. Late in the day an ARCTIC REDPOLL was found at the south end of Beacon Lane and was very confiding, as it fed down to 10 feet with a Lesser Redpoll, as it got dark it flew off north along Beacon Lane and appeared to drop in the copse at the north end. Also late afternoon a Pallas’s Warbler was seen in the Point dunes, while other scarce birds included a Siberian Chiffchaff caught at the Warren, 2 Waxwings at Chalk Bank, a Great Grey Shrike at Chalk Bank and a very showy Wood Lark at the Point, which was trapped and ringed late afternoon.


Other migrants seen included a juvenile Hen Harrier at the Point, 1 Jack Snipe, 11 Woodcock, 1 Long-eared Owl, 4 Short-eared Owl, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 7 Skylark, 2 Rock Pipit, 36 Wren, 240 Robin, 6 Black Redstart, 2 Stonechat, 3 Northern Wheatear, 1 Ring Ouzel, 1500+ Blackbird, 475 Fieldfare, 19 Song Thrush, 325 Redwing, 2 Mistle Thrush, 14 Blackcap, 14 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, 45 Goldcrest, 32 Chaffinch, 9 Brambling, 32 Siskin, 2 Twite, 6 Lesser Redpoll, 12 Snow Bunting.


The only birds seen flying south were 4 Pink-footed Geese, 2 Greylags with 18 White-fronted Geese.

Pied Wheatear. Steve Exley

Pied Wheatear. Steve Exley

Pied Wheatear. Mick Sharpe

Pied Wheatear. Mick Sharpe

Arctic Redpoll. Mick Sharpe

Arctic Redpoll. Mick Sharpe

'Siberian' Chiffchaff. Toby Spall

'Siberian' Chiffchaff. Toby Spall

7th November 2011 - Monday

Sea-watches 07.00-10.20, 10.30-14.45, 15.15-16.15. Overcast all day with continuous very light drizzle which stopped mid-afternoon, a force 3 NE- ENE wind.


There was a very good arrival of birds today with thrushes coming and going all day, and Blackbirds and Robins increasing as the day went on. Rarity wise a Siberian Chiffchaff was in the outer dunes at the Point, there were 2 Great Grey Shrikes, one at post 61 which flew towards Chalk Bank, and another one at the Point which became the 115th species ringed at Spurn this year; there were at least 2 Waxwings, one at the Point and one at Wire Dump, a Wood Lark flew over the Point and may have flown off back north. Other totals included 3 Jack Snipe, 4 Snipe, 24 Woodcock, 5 Short-eared Owl, 10 Skylark, 15 Meadow Pipit, 9 Rock Pipit, 1 Grey Wagtail, 157 Robin, 4 Black Redstart, 1 Stonechat, 3 Northern Wheatear, 1 Ring Ouzel, 1150 Blackbird, 2300 Fieldfare, 39 Song Thrush, 820 Redwing, 23 Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler trapped at Kew, 83 Goldcrest, 5 Brambling, 3 Twite, 11 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Bullfinch, 11 Snow Bunting and 4 Yellowhammer.


Over the sea there were 35 Pink-footed Geese, 5 Brent Geese, 95 Wigeon, 3 Gadwall, 8 Teal, 4 Eider, 200 Common Scoter, 2 Velvet Scoter, 5 Red- breasted Merganser, 29 Red-throated Diver, a Leach’s Petrel N, 40 Gannet, 3 Arctic Skua, 1 Little Gull, 12 Kittiwake, 8 auk sp, 7 Guillemot, 1 Razorbill, 14 Little Auk.

Great Grey Shrike.Andy Roadhouse

Great Grey Shrike.Andy Roadhouse

6th November 2011

Sea-watches 06.30-12.00, 13.15-16.10. Cloudy with sunny periods, a cold force 3-2 N-NNE wind.


There was no sign of the Isabelline Wheatear today, but the goal of reaching 250 species in a year was realised when a Black Guillemot flew south past the sea-watching hut at 09.30, this is only the tenth record for Spurn. Most activity was over the sea and included 1 Whooper Swan, 3 Brent Geese, 11 Shelduck, 99 Wigeon, 1 Gadwall, 5t4 Teal, 5 Mallard, 3 Shoveler, 2 Tufted Duck, 25 Eider, 302 Common Scoter, 8 Velvet Scoter, 7 Goldeneye, 14 Red-breasted Merganser, 98 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Sooty Shearwater, 65 Gannet, 1 Lapwing, 1 Woodcock, 3 Pomarine Skua, 5 Arctic Skua, 13 Bonxie, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 18 Little Gull, 402 Kittiwake, 1 Commic Tern, 125 auk sp, 29 Guillemot, 15 Little Auk, 2 Puffin, 2 Short-eared Owl, 2 Rock Pipit, 295 Starling, 4 Siskin, 2 Twite.


The first Waxwing of the autumn was found at Kew in the afternoon and the first Coal Tit of the autumn was at the Point in the morning, other birds seen included 16 Skylark, 1 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Wheatear, 525 Blackbird, 37 Fieldfare, 28 Song Thrush, 96 Redwing, 1 Mistle Thrush, 4 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrest, 2 Brambling, 14 Siskin, 14 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Lapland Bunting, 7 Snow Bunting, 1 Yellowhammer.

Waxwing. Mick Sharpe

Waxwing. Mick Sharpe

5th November 2011

Sea-watches 07.30-11.30, 12.45-16.00. A misty murky start and stayed grey all day, still to start with then the wind picked up to a cold force 3 northerly wind.


The ISABELLINE WHEATEAR was still present all day between the Warren and the Narrows feeding on the Humber shore. It was also a good day for thrush arrival and a reasonable day over the sea.


Grounded birds included 1 Jack Snipe, 17 Woodcock, 3 Short-eared Owl (inc 1 in off), 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 29 Robin, 2 Black Redstart, 430 Blackbird, 82 Fieldfare, 145 Song Thrush, 2220 Redwing, 5 Mistle Thrush, 8 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Hooded Crow blogging, 1000+ Starling, 3 Brambling, 2 Bullfinch, 1 Lapland Bunting.


A few birds were moving south or coming in off: 31 Lapwing in, 1 Snipe, 4 Stock Dove, 120 Wood Pigeon, 9 Skylark, 22 Meadow Pipit, 3 Rock Pipit, 3 Jackdaw, 1 Rook, 102 Starling in, 77 Tree Sparrow, 19 Chaffinch, 6 Greenfinch, 79 Goldfinch, 28 Siskin, 17 Linnet, 2 Twite, 57 Lesser Redpoll, 29 Snow Bunting and 1 Reed Bunting.


The first Little Auk of the year broke the year list record, giving us a total of 249 so far, is Spurn going to be the first Observatory to record 250 species in a year? Also moving over the sea were 680 Pink-footed Geese, 9 Wigeon, 98 Teal, 1 Tufted Duck, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Little Grebe, 65 Gannet, 2 Arctic Skua, 3 Bonxie, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 28 Herring Gull, 71 Kittiwake, 1 Common Tern, 40 Guillemot, 4 Puffin.


Other birds seen included 1 Scaup, 2 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 2 Water Rail and a Barn Owl.

Isabelline Wheatear. Ron Marshall

Isabelline Wheatear. Ron Marshall

Isabelline Wheatear. Richard Willison

Isabelline Wheatear. Richard Willison

4th November 2011 - Friday

Sea-watches 07.45-09.30, 09.50-14.30. Rain for the first couple of hours then slowly clearing to leave a nice sunny afternoon, a still to force 1-2


What was looking like it should have been a wash out with yesterdays weather forecast! turned out to be a very good day with the Observatory’s first ISABELLINE WHEATEAR, (a previous Spurn record for 1990 was out of the Observatory recording area) was found on the Humber shore south of the Warren, the bird was trapped and ringed and released back where it was caught and was still showing at dusk. If coming down to see the bird park at the Warren and walk south but DO NOT park in any of the passing bays along the peninsula.


There was also a good arrival of Woodcocks and a reasonable arrival of thrushes, Woodcocks totaled 21, while other migrant totals were 1 Jack Snipe in off, 3 Rock Pipit, 30 Robin, 1 Black Redstart at the Point, 112 Blackbird, 36 Fieldfare, 34 Song Thrush, 780 Redwing, 1 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrest, 650 Starling, 1 Brambling.


There was a reasonable passage of ducks and a few waders moving south over the sea which included 6 Shelduck, 306 Wigeon, 238 Teal, 3 Shoveler, 3 Eider, 33 Common Scoter, 5 Goldeneye, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Golden Plover, 8 Grey Plover, 60 Lapwing in off, 47 Knot, 253 Dunlin, 10 Ruff, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Curlew, 2 Arctic Skua, 3 Bonxie.


Other birds seen included 1 Greenshank, and moving south were 6 Skylark, 1 Swallow, 7 Meadow Pipit, 4 Rock Pipit, 12 Goldfinch, 5 Siskin, 14 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Lapland Bunting, 1 Snow Bunting.

Isabelline Wheatear. Ian Smith

Isabelline Wheatear. Ian Smith

Isabelline Wheatear. Ian Smith

Isabelline Wheatear. Ian Smith

Isabelline Wheatear. Ian Smith

Isabelline Wheatear. Ian Smith

Isabelline Wheatear. Ian Smith

Isabelline Wheatear. Ian Smith

3rd November 2011

Sea-watches 06.50-09.30, 11.20-11.50, 14.15-16.30. An almost cloudy day with a force 3-4 SSW-SE wind.


Another quiet day, moving south were 5 Brent Geese, 17 Shelduck, 23 Wigeon, 20 Teal, 4 Scaup, 43 Common Scoter, 2 Eider, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 5 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 20 Gannet, 1 Sparrowhawk, 36 Knot, 5 Dunlin, 4 Bonxie, 8 Stock Dove, 5 Skylark, 1 House Martin, 3 Meadow Pipit, 3 Rock Pipit, 3 alba Wagtail, 3 Chaffinch, 8 Greenfinch, 12 Goldfinch, 1 Siskin, 20 Twite, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Snow Bunting, 2 Yellowhammer.


Other birds seen included 1 Scaup, 4 Little Egret, 1 Merlin, 1 Water Rail, 24 Robin, 1 Black Redstart at the Point, 25 Blackbird, 9 Fieldfare, 15 Song Thrush, 24 Redwing, 3 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Brambling, 1 Siskin.

2nd November 2011 - Wednesday

Migration/sea-watches 06.50-09.30, 11.00-12.00, 14.00-16.30. An almost cloudy day with a force 3-4 SSW-SE wind.


A very quiet day with just a few birds moving: 67 Pink-footed Geese, 3 Wigeon, 1 Pintail, 4 Eider, 26 Common Scoter, 1 Kestrel, 17 Knot, 2 Sanderling, 4 Dunlin, 1 Snipe, 1 Bonxie, 17 Stock Dove, 90 Wood Pigeon, 17 Skylark, 1 Swallow, 18 Meadow Pipit, 2 Rock Pipit, 2 Chaffinch, 38 Greenfinch, 95 Goldfinch, 4 Siskin, 18 Linnet, 3 Twite, 3 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Snow Bunting, 5 Reed Bunting.


Other birds seen included 1 Scaup, 11 Grey Partridge, 1 Merlin, 1 Woodcock, 7 Fieldfare, 2 Song Thrush, 25 Redwing, 1 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrest, 1 Brambling.

1st November 2011

Migration/sea-watches 07.00-12.00. A cloudy drizzly start soon cleared and was warm and sunny by late morning, a light force 3-2 WNW-SW wind.


Another good day for migration and ringing, with a total of 360 birds ringed including another 259 Tree Sparrows, taking the total to nearly 3500 so far this year! Birds moving south were 5 Shelduck, 1 Wigeon, 1 Teal, 12 Common Scoter, 1 Goosander, 14 Red-throated Diver, 17 Gannet, 1 Hen Harrier U-turned, 2 Sparrowhawk, 95 Golden Plover, 4 Stock Dove, 72 Skylark, 2 Shore Lark, 2 House Martin, 14 Meadow Pipit, 32 Rock Pipit, 6 alba Wagtail, 3 Rook, 5 Carrion Crow, 53 Starling in off, 3 House Sparrow, 250 Tree Sparrow, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Brambling, 19 Greenfinch, 338 Goldfinch, 61 Siskin, 52 Linnet, 35 Twite, 56 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Snow Bunting, 3 Reed Bunting.


Other birds seen included a Scaup, a Red-necked Grebe on the sea early morning, 1 Little Egret, 1 Merlin, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 11 Fieldfare, 3 Song Thrush, 26 Redwing, 2 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrest, 1 Brambling, 25 Siskin, 4 Bullfinch.

Twite. John Wint

Twite. John Wint

Twite. John Wint

Twite. John Wint

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