Celebration of Birds

Spurn late August 2010

What the heck – no theme here just a celebration of waders, and wagtails, terns and warblers. Birds have such fantastic variety. They do so many different things. Even when the bushes aren’t rarity hopping and popping – how can you be bored?!

A few photos from yesterday and today at Spurn


Multi-coloured shorebirds. Left: adult summer male Bar-tailed Godwit. Centre:winter plumaged Knot. Right: adult summer Knot. The reddish undertail coverts of the Knot mean it won’t be from the American or east Siberian populations (which have white UTC). Ringing has shown that almost all the birds at Spurn will be of the High Canadian Arctic and Greenland form islandica.

There are still some bright adult Dunlin around. Almost all of these, will be of the nominate form alpina. Besides indicative plumage features many alpina arrive having already moulted some of their flight feathers, unlike nearer breeding schinzii – which moult on wintering grounds in Africa. No sign of any ‘adult buff coverts’ indicating centralis from Central Siberia- though they have been strongly suspected at this time of year.

Adult Whimbrel. This fella has been around with his damaged leg for most of August

‘Yellow’ or  flava  Wagtail. Quite a few have been moving through Spurn yesterday and today. Many just fly over, though some land, as this one on Canal Scrape. Birds in juvenile plumage are also about – some with no visible yellow in the plumage.

This Barred Warbler has reappeared by Canal Scrape this morning. Though more often seen in flight than out in the open -hence the photo!

Common Terns and Moon. Spurn birding in late August can be exhausting. With passerine searches beginning at 6:00 am and terns passing well after dark – it can be a non-stop experience. Last night some 16,000 Common terns flew south to roost off Lincolnshire. They were still going ‘after dark’.

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