Monday, 7 September 2015

Black Stork & Red-backed Shrike at Migfest

 View on arrival
 Black Stork feeding in draining ditch
Black Stork allowing great views
 Black Stork displaying ring
Black Stork in flight
Black Stork location
 Touchdown Spurn

Red-backed Shrike
Long journey at Spurn

With an offer of a seat in the car to Spurn I duly booked Friday off work to make the journey north east. With decent northerly winds blowing I was hopeful of some movement on the sea but not so confident on the warbler front.

Leaving the house at 4.30am to meet up with Dave & Dave we made good time to arrive at Sunk Island at around 8am. After some initial head scratching as we got our bearings we duly located the ditch and the back end of a juvenile Black Stork. After ten minutes watching the bird Dave then stopped the farmer ploughing the field opposite who kindly gave us permission to follow patch of the side of ditch which led us getting some fantastic views of the bird feeding, preening in field and in flight as it headed a few hundred feet north. From our original viewing the bird looked black but once close you could definitely make out the dull brown/ green plumage and also its french white ring.

Satisfied by our early morning find we carried on to Kilnsea and found the previously reported Red-backed Shrike showing well in the Corner Field by Sunny Cliff Caravan Park. This juvenile bird was moving on the scrub in front of the old buildings. Two lifers in the same day and the Shrike was one of those birds I'd never had any luck with before.

From there we tried our luck to get a Long-eared Owl but despite our efforts the bird had gone to ground and it wasn't reported again during the day. Wanting to make the most of our time we headed to Spurn for some wader and sea watching. As high tide retreated there was thousands of waders including Redshanks, Grey Plover, Curlew, Dunlin, Knot, Black-tailed Godwit,Oystercatcher, Lapwing & Dunlin.  Walking down the steps from sea watching I picked up a female Pied Flycatcher and a Willow Warbler moving through.

Sea watching highlights included :- 2 Red-throated Divers, Fulmer's, 7 Great Skuas, 25 Arctic Skuas, 5 Common Scoter, Sandwich & Common Tern.

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