Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Overcast, brightening in the afternoon with a F1 WSW-W wind.

Watches: 0645-1100, 1720-1930.  Obs tower: 1300-1530.

A decent day all round with a few migrants about, a more varied visible migration and good numbers of Waders seen.

The Rosefinch continues to be seen on and off during the day while the Cetti's Warbler is around Southfield farm and 5 Short-eared Owl are still showing well around Holderness field. Still a nice scatter of grounded migrant totals, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 1 Whitethroat, 2 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Redstart, 2 Whinchat, 3 Wheatear, 4 Yellow Wagtail and 1 Tree Pipit.

Overhead there were a nice selection of species on the move, 2 Common Buzzard, 4 Kestrel, 2 Rook, 1 Jackdaw, 5 Sand Martin, 51 Swallow, 32 House Sparrow, 647 Tree Sparrow, 11 'Flava' Wagtail, 2 Grey Wagtail, 10 Alba Wagtail, 2679 Meadow Pipit, 4 Tree Pipit, 1 Rock Pipit, 1 Chaffinch, 3 Linnet, 10 Goldfinch, 5 Siskin, 2 Corn Bunting 13 Reed Bunting.

Steady over the sea with a few Skua on the move, 1 Wigeon, 2 Common Scoter, 12 Red-throated Diver, 3 Fulmar, 2 Manx Shearwater, 38 Gannet, 3 Shag, 1 Curlew, 2 Knot, 1 Snipe in/off, 356 Sandwich Tern, 251 Common Tern, 1 Black Tern, 1 Arctic Tern, 2 Great Skua, 13 Arctic Skua, 4 Auk sp and 1 Guillemot.

Other sightings mainly in the Kilnsea wetlands/Beacon Ponds area were 35 Wigeon, 4 Pintail, 1 Teal, 9 Little Grebe, 13 Little Egret, 2 Marsh Harrier, 2 Water Rail still showing well on Canal scrape, 1000 Golden Plover on the Humber, 630 Grey Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 950 Redshank, a great count of 21 Greenshank, 30 Mediterranean Gull while 2 Merlin and 1 Peregrine are still terrorising the local Waders and Finches.

Ringing: 2 Great Tit, 40 Meadow Pipit, 81 Tree Sparrow, 3 House Sparrow, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Dunnock, 1 Chaffinch, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Reed Bunting.

Use the archive navigation to see more sightings.

  • Rosefinch. John Hewitt.

  • Mick Turton and Short-eared Owl. John Hewitt.

  • Black-tailed Godwit. Matt Smith.

  • Tree Pipit. Dan Branch.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

A dull damp morning, sunny later, with a F3 SW wind.

Migration Watches: 0615-1100, 1800-1930.


The Rosefinch is still present in Canal Hedge and in the carpark here, while migrants were thin on the ground but still 1 Swift, 6 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Redstart, 9 Whinchat and 1 Tree Pipit were logged.

Little  on the move over the sea today with 10 Shelduck, 17 Common Scoter, 36 Red-throated Diver, 1 Fulmar, 2 Manx Shearwater, 42 Gannet, 6 Shag, 6 Cormorant, 1 Kittiwake and 2 Arctic Skua.

Overland the theme continued with a lack of species diversity and low numbers, 1 Marsh Harrier, 5 Sand Martin, 6 Swallow, 2 House Sparrow, 7 Flava, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2148 Meadow Pipit, 15 Linnet, 9 Siskin and 15 Goldfinch.

Other sightings today mainly around Kilnsea wetlands unless stated were 138 Greylag Geese, 28 Wigeon, 6 Pintail, 2 Shoveler, 70 Teal, 3 Grey Partridge at Sammy’s, 293 Curlew on Long bank, 1 Ruff, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Green Sandpiper, 620 Redshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 6 Greenshank on Beacon ponds and a Tawny Owl in Easington.


Ringing: 1 Turnstone, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Wren, 1 Dunnock, 1 Robin, 1 Whitethroat, 18 Tree Sparrow, 1 Tree Pipit, 30 Meadow Pipit, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Siskin. (57 of 11 species).

Use the archive navigation to see more sightings.

  • Wheatear. Jonathan Marshall.

  • Bar-tailed Godwit. Dan Branch.

Monday, 10 September 2018

Both the Rosefinch and Cetti's Warbler were seen/heard again today, while a Corncrake was seen again in the triangle near the visitor centre, but few other migrants were seen in the windy conditions with only 5 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 3 Whitethroat, 3 Whinchat and 5 Yellow Wagtail.

A better day of visible migration, but pretty much just one species involved with 3409 Meadow Pipit south while otherwise just 1 Swift, 2 Sand Martin, 3 Flava and 1 Siskin was poor.

Other sightings were 29 Wigeon, 5 Pintail, 262 Curlew, 357 Redshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 2 Curlew Sandpiper and 2 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull south.

Ringing: 1 Turnstone, 1 Whitethroat, 5 Tree Sparrow, 2 Great Tit, 1 Blue Tit.


Use the archive navigation to see more sightings.

  • Rosefinch. John Hewitt.

  • Studies of Spotted Redshank. John Hewitt.

  • Curlew Sandpiper. Matt Smith,

Sunday, 09 September 2018

- 2nd full day of the Spurn Migration Festival.

- Full day of walks and talks.

- Rosefinch continues to show and entertain in Canal hedge, and a new bird at the Point.

- Difficult birding in the strong wind, but the spirit continues.

- Festival ends like last years began with an Osprey flying south.

A day of strong wind made it difficult finding birds, but there are now 2 Rosefinch with a new bird at the Point, while the other continued its presence in Canal hedge. The Cetti's Warbler was still along the Canal, while a Corncrake at the top end of the Canal soon went to ground with subsequent sightings relating to a juvenile Pheasant!. 

Other birds to keep everyone interested were the Merlin still chasing passerines at the Warren, a Short-eared Owl at Long bank, Spotted Redshank and 96 Mediterranean Gull at Kilnsea wetlands, Curlew Sandpiper and Purple Sandpiper, migrants including Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat and Wheatear, plus all the usual Waders and Ducks around Kilnsea wetland with 2 Marsh Harrier nearby.

Ringing: 5 Meadow Pipit, 1 Robin, 2 Tree Sparrow, 1 House Sparrow.

Use the archive navigation to see more sightings.

  • Spotted Redshank. Matt Hobbs.

  • Spotted Redshank. Matt Hobbs.

  • Rosefinch. Rob Hughes.

  • Migfest friends.

Saturday, 08 September 2018

-  The 1st full day of MigFest gets underway.

-  Full programme of walks and talks.

-  The obs garden new viewing platform officially opened.

-  Rosefinch the main avain highlight.

-  The weather conspires against us!

-  Highlight of the day with 'Young Birder of the Year' competition and brilliant finale talk by Stu McKenzie.

In complete contract to last year the strong wind and rain later made it difficult finding migrants, but this didnt seem to deflate the high spirits among volunteers and visitors alike with the point walk well attended by 25 guests all for little reward. This was pretty much repeated on most walks. Through the day our guests were enthralled to see 2 Water Rail on canal scrape, Spotted Redshank on Kilnsea Wetlands with 2 Short-eared Owl nearby while eveyone by the seawatch hut enjoyed amazing views of juvenile Merlin chasing a Meadow Pipit out to sea then to smiles failing to catch it over the next 10 minutes! For others managing to get views of one of the Pied Flycatcher was recieved with much thanks.

The vis-miggers and sea watchers struggled throughout with only 1200 Meadow Pipit, 2 Tree Pipit, the autumn's 1st Rock Pipit and 2 Siskin of note overland and 6 Great Skua and 1 Arctic Skua over the sea.

The highlight of the day, passerine wise was a Rosefinch found in canal hedge showing well on and off during the day with a Linnet flock, but a Cetti's Warbler skulking along the canal is still rarer at Spurn, while a scatter of migrants continue in the area with 3 Pied Flycatcher, 4 Willow Warbler, 3 Goldcrest, male Redstart, 2 Whinchat, 9 Wheatear and a Garden Warbler. A Nightjar seen twice around the church area would have been gratefully recieved if it had been pinned down.

Other sightings of note during the day were 5 Pintail, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank, 10 Greenshank and a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper on Kilnsea wetlands, 20+ Mediterranean Gull in the area and a Purple Sandpiper by Sandy beaches.

Ringing: 5 Meadow Pipit, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Blackbird.


Use the archive navigation to see more sightings.

  • Pied Flycatcher.

  • Nightjar. Andy Gibson.

  • Yellow wagtail.

  • Opening of the Observatory garden tower by Richard Porter.

Friday, 07 September 2018

- The 6th Spurn Migration Festival gets underway.

- Richard Porter opens Friday night with a talk entitled "Wars, Wildlife and Migration". 

- Right on cue some good visible migration.

- Hopes high for a good weekend.

A couple of good birds got the weekend off to a decent start with a Rosefinch on Beacon lane eating Blackberries and a brief Corncrake seen running across the road by the YWT visitor centre, while the first 6 Pink-footed Geese of the autumn flew south and 800 House Martin flew south in 1 hour early afternoon.

A scatter of migrants including Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat, Wheatear and Garden Warbler were all recorded while Waders were represented by a juvenile Purple Sandpiper, 2 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and a Spotted Redshank among the ranks of commoner species. 

Over the sea a Roseate Tern, 1 Black Tern and 1500 Common Tern flew south in the evening Tern roost.

Use the archive navigation to see more sightings.

  • Rosefinch. George Dunbar.

Thursday, 06 September 2018

- The 6th Spurn Migration Festival begins on Friday.

- Preperations well underway for the weekend, We cannot wait!.

- The first decent movement of Meadow Pipit, along with Hirundines at the Warren.

- Classic example of visible migration, with a Nightjar arriving off the sea!

The predicted south-westerly wind had the desired effect with a small but welcome 471 Meadow Pipit moving south this morning, which will hopefully turn into a deluge in the next few days. While maybe to some people Meadow Pipits are seen as not being a looker or having a great call, we at Spurn hold them with great affection and look forward each year to their big movements in September. In fact the Migration Festivals humble begginings were based around the peak movement time for this species. Hopefully we can yet again show the awesome power of migration, with thousands of birds pouring south.

The highlight of the day was a Nightjar arriving in/off the sea mobbed by Common Terns, surely a sight like this should have been saved for the festival itself. Lets hope its refound over the weekend.


Use the archive navigation to see more sightings.

  • Meadow Pipit. Adam Hutt.

  • Meadow Pipit. Adam Hutt.

  • Spotted Flycatcher. Tony Broom.

Wednesday, 05 September 2018

- The 6th Spurn Migration Festival begins on Friday.

- Great numbers and varied list of Duck, Waders and Gulls on Kilnsea wetlands.

- Quiet over the sea, but a great early morning for Terns from the seawatch hut.

- A scatter of the 'usual' migrants for this time of year.

- Winds predicted to be south-westerly and maybe some great visible migration at the Warren.

The sea was where most of the action was again today, with the continued northerly, the early morning dominated by Terns heading north-east out to sea from their roost areas, bringing totals of 10 Roseate Tern, 6 Black Tern, 3305 Common Tern, 19 Arctic Tern and 339 Sandwich Tern. It also brought small numbers of other species with 7 Wigeon, 61 Teal, 1 Tufted Duck, 26 Common Scoter, 3 Red-throated Diver, 17 Fulmar, 2 Sooty Shearwater, 8 Manx Shearwater, 4 Shag, 28 Oystercatcher, 2 Whimbrel, 8 Kittiwake, 9 Little Gull, 4 Bonxie, 4 Arctic Skua, 4 Guillemot and 6 Puffin.

A fantastic record count of 119 Mediterranean Gull was made for Kilnsea wetlands, birds coming into bath, taking a break from following the ploughs working nearby, while also here among many commoner species were 16 Black-tailed Godwit,1 Common sandpiper and 3 Pintail while 15 Greenshank and a Spotted Redshank were on Beacon ponds with 3 Common Buzzard overhead and 2 Short-eared Owl still entertaining over Holderness field. The local Waders and Finches were kept on their toes by 2 Merlin, a Hobby and a Peregrine hunting the area.

Migrants were still being recorded despite the strong wind with the usual species seen, 3 Song Thrush, 10 Pied Flycatcher, 6 Redstart, 11 Whinchat, 3 Wheatear, 2 Sedge Warbler, 4 Reed Warbler, 10 Whitethroat, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Garden Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, 12 Willow Wabler and 3 Tree Pipit all recorded while 4 Swift were overhead and our 1st Redwing of the autumn was over Church field.

Ringing: 2 Redstart, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Dunnock, 23 Tree Sparrow.

Use the archive navigation to see more sightings.

  • Merlin. Micky Maher.

Tuesday, 04 September 2018

Low cloud and drizzle early morning, giving way to long sunny spells in the afternoon with a F4+ northerly.

Watches: 0615-1930.

- The 6th Migration Festival starts on Friday.

- Nice movement of Seabirds and Terns heading out of roost.

- Kilnsea wetlands as in previous years fantastic at high tide. 

The sea recieved all the attention today which developed as the day went on after a good northerly Tern movement as birds left their Lincolnshire roost.

The highlight of the seawatch was a superb adult Sabines Gull close in past the seawatch hut, while also seen were a 6 Wigeon, 59 Teal, 53 Common Scoter, 19 Red-throated Diver, 109 Fulmar, 98 Manx Shearwater, 2 Balearic Shearwater, 9 Sooty Shearwater, a Red-necked Grebe, 5 Shag, 29 Oystercatcher, 16 Little Gull, 430 Sandwich Tern, 2,464 Common Tern, 12 Arctic Tern, juvenile Little Tern, 11 Roseate Tern, 4 Black Tern, 58 Bonxie, 25 Arctic Skua, juvenile Long-tailed Skua and 19 Puffin

Passerines were difficult to find in the strong wind with 2 Pied Flycatcher, a scatter of 7 Whinchat and 4 Wheatear for the efforts.

kilnsea wetlands held 25 Wigeon, 3 Pintail, 10 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Spotted Redshank, 2 Common Sandpiper and 25 Mediterranean Gull.

Ringing: 1 Reed Warbler, 2 Tree Sparrow, 1 House Sparrow, 1 Great Tit.

Use the archive navigation to see more sightings.

  • Juvenile Water Rail at canal scrape. John Hewitt.

  • Adult Water Rail at canal scrape, John Hewitt.

  • Hornet. Ian Court.

  • Fox. Ian Court.

Monday, 03 September 2018

Watches: 0630-1100, 1700-1945.

No sign of the Ortolans today, but an increase in migrants in the afternoon with the first Song Thrushes of the autumn. Totals were 12 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 8 Reed Warbler, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 9 Whitethroat, 6 Song Thrush, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 16 Pied Flycatcher, 4 Redstart, 38 Whinchat, 3 Wheatear and 19 Yellow Wagtail.

A bit of passage today, 4 Wigeon, 67 Teal, 39 Common Scoter, 3 Fulmar, 5 Manx Shearwater, 75 Gannet, 25 Cormorant, 9 Oystercatcher, 1 Spotted Redshank, 3 Litle Gull, 280 Sandwich Tern, only 570 Common Tern and 3 Arctic Tern.

Overland it s just not happening so far, with only a tiny increase in Meadow Pipit numbers, 10 Snipe went north, 1 Marsh Harrier, 3 Jackdaw, 12 Sand Martin, 198 Swallow, 32 House Martin, 120 Tree Sparrow, 6 Flava, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Alba, 72 Meadow Pipit, 24 Linnet, 27 Goldfinch, 2 YellowHammer and 9 Reed Bunting. 

A Spoonbill was discovered on Kilnsea wetlands, flying off north then returning south towards Lincs. Beacon ponds had a fantastic count of  34 Greenshank, which is our 3rd jont highest, while on Kilnsea wetlands 118 Greylag Geese, 3 Pintail, 165 Mallard, 130 Teal, 2 Spotted Redshank, 4 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Common Sandpiper while the Humber had 555 Ringed Plover off the Warren, 2000 Golden Plover, 5000 Knot and 300 Grey Plover while the Purple Sandpiper was on the shore line off Clubleys.

Other sightiongs included 3 Water Rail on canal scrape, 53 Mediterranean Gull, the Tawny Owl at Kew, 3 Short-eared Owl, 2 Merlin chasing the 550 Linnet in the fields.

Ringing: 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler, 5 Tree Sparrow, 1 Blue Tit, 2 Great Tit, 1 Whitethroat.

Use the archive navigation to see more sightings.

  • Pintail. John Hewitt.

  • Spoonbill. John Hewitt.

  • Spoonbill. John Hewitt.

  • Pied Flycatcher. Samuel Levy,

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