16 September 2007

Spurn Point.

Canal Scrape - Spurn Point.

A Common Darter - I think!

Yesterdays birding trip to Spurn Point didn’t kill me off completely, in fact it may well have helped me along the road to recovery a little. My ribs held up a lot better than I thought they would and didn’t give me too much trouble during the day. The fresh air was more than welcome after being sat around the house all week and the birding, which was much better than I expected, will probably have kick-started me into getting out more over the coming weeks. The walk along the wet sand also gave my legs a bit of a workout too!

Nothing but sand, sea and sky.

Looking back along my boot prints!

The old military defences, being claimed by the sea.

The total bird count for the day wasn’t too high, 58 species for Lynda and I, but it did include some great birds. In terms of rarity value the highlight, I guess, had to be Great Shearwater. This was a “lifer” for me but as the bird was a fair way out to sea, the view wasn’t all that good - maybe my next one will be better!

At just before 1:30PM news started to filter through that a Snow Goose had been sighted off the east coast of England, flying south with a flock of Pink-footed Geese. A small group of us gathered on the shoreline and waited. One of the reserve wardens was stood close by and we heard over his two-way radio that the bird was heading our way. Another few minutes and the geese came into view. Even with only my binoculars, the Snow Goose was easy to pick out - the only white bird amongst a large flock of grey geese! As the birds passed by us, we got great views with both our ‘bins and through a ‘scope belonging to a friend.

The Snow Goose was “tracked” from Filey, to the north of us, right down to Holkham in Norfolk a journey of approximately 100 miles. Quite how far the goose flock had flown yesterday is unknown but they would have started their journey from the breeding grounds in Iceland. On October 13, we will be going to Holkham, on anther RSPB coach trip, so it will be interesting to see if we can find “our” Snow Goose again there.

Map showing the Snow Goose sightings along the English coast.

Locations and times for the Snow Goose.

Later in the day technology once again provided us with another good bird, an Osprey. A group of us were sat in or around the sea-watching hide when a warden’s radio burst into life… “Osprey, heading south, just out to sea. It’s passing Sandy Beaches now!” Well, Sandy Beaches was only just north of us so it was just a case of sitting and waiting. A short while longer and we had Osprey on our day list - this was getting a little too easy!

Other notable birds seen during the day included Red-throated Diver, Manx Shearwater, Common Scoter, Merlin, Golden Plover, Grey Plover, huge numbers of Knot, three Great Skua and small numbers of Arctic Skua. Overall, not a bad day for saying I had to leave my ‘scope at home - it felt like I’d lost my right arm all day!

As the birding had turned out to be better than expected I didn’t have too much time during the day to play around with the camera but I did manage half an hour or so late in the day to take some shots of the old wooden sea defences.


  1. Even with no birds in the shots you still manage to take great photos. I'm glad you had a good time breathing in the fresh air.

    Now I'm going to have to google those birds ;-)


  2. I love the pix - exactly my kind of photos !!!!
    Take care