My Best Views Ever!

Day Two of the Spurn Spring Special:

25th May- a SUPERB DAY!

Best Views ever? Read on…

After the first day bonanza- they were keen. I thought my suggestion of a 5:30 am start might meet with some disapproval. Not at all! So visible migration began at the Warren soon after and the reward came at 6:30 am. A ring-tailed Harrier, with 3 fingered ‘pointed wing’ and light build was soon affirmed as a Montagu’s Harrier and as it got closer the greyish hood, rufousy colouring underneath, old juvenile wings but new pseudo-adult male body plumage – a lovely 1st summer male Montagu’s Harrier’s was full appreciated by all of us as it flew by nice and close:

1st summer male Montagu’s Harrier, Spurn May 2011. SBO

Watching from the Warren, it’s also possible to engage with the ringing activity as well as the early morning Moth Trap. Despite one of the local Blue Tits having trapped itself which I released, we were rewarded with both Elephant Hawk Moth and Small Elephant Hawk Moth (latter pic by Nathan Pickering).

Upper Elephant Hawk Moth and lower Small Elephant Hawk Moth. one of the best springs ever for the latter species at Spurn with c 6 records so far.

Ringing activity rewarded us with a quite striking acredula-type Willow Warbler. These brown (or grey) and white Willow Warblers are of uncertain destination as some head off for northern Scandinavia and even West Siberia and beyond, but some with similar plumage are apparently found in e.g. upland areas of Scotland. This one in late May I think was a proper tundra breeder…

acredula-type Willow Warbler, Spurn May 2011. Added more interest to an already good Spurn Spring Special. We also saw Reed Warbler and Chiffchaff in the hand today.

Buck Roe Deer. Spurn is bursting with all kinds of wildlife. This young buck Roe Deer was seen several times near the Warren over our 3 days.

Mid afternoon produced our second ‘peak event’ of the day (following the early morning Monty’s Harrier). A Quail had been heard singing. Having only ever had poor views in the UK, I counselled the group.

“Let’s go have a look, but we will probably only hear it. That’s normal and usually all that’s to be expected”

No. We got views a few feet away in dune grass of a singing male- absolutely amazing!- and my best views ever.You can see the dark throats mark and anchor shape which females don’t have. As the group headed off for evening meal one person was heard remarking:

“I am just pinching myself- I can’t quite believe what I have just seen.”

Male Quail, Spurn on DAY 2 of the Spurn Spring Special and MY BEST VIEWS EVER!

Andy and I finished off Day 2 promising to try to see some ’trip ticks’ in the forms of Corn Bunting, Yellowhammer and Barn Owl. 20 minutes after heading out we had bagged all 3 species including lovely close views of the Barn Owl. The Corn Bunting was a little distant, but a couple of days later Martin Standley obtained this much closer (excellent) photo of the bird. http://eastyorkshirewildlife.blogspot.com/

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