Spurn, April 23rd, 2011
SE Winds variable, slight fog/ sea mist remained though clearer than has been. Sunshine
Highlight was the 3rd Red-rumped Swallow in 10 days at Spurn, again past the Warren and fortunately I was in the right place. Other highlights for me: first male Whinchat of the year, another 53 Arctic Terns, loads (c10) of Marsh Harriers passing overhead, gorgeous Green Hairstreak Butterfly, 4 Shorelark which dropped in at Chalk Bank and interesting Wheatear trapped. Of course there was much more as well! I have also included a Continental Stonechat from 21st in the previous evening.
This female Wheatear had short tail and a wing of only 92mm. It is presumably a nominate race bird amoung the many ‘NW Wheatears’ bound for Iceland and Greenland. Compare the number of visible primary tips compared with the female below with a wing of 101mm (almost 1cm longer) which is presumably a north-western (Icelandic/ Greenland Wheatear).
Marsh Harriers ‘everywhere’ including this young male:
One of 4 Shorelark on way north maybe from Lincs or Norfolk (bit distant in heat haze)
A female ‘Continental Stonechat’. These pale spring birds have sometime been understandably misidentified as Siberian Stonechats in the past. My quick check is always the flanks (as e.g. exact rump pattern can be harder to see). The flanks on Western European Stonechats are lightly streaked verus unstreaked in Siberian Stonechats. Helps witha quick ID!