Spurn 16th-17th July 2011
SW winds + July = Swifts. Having arrived on Friday night to the screeching and peeping of lots of adult and juvenile Sandwich Terns flying over the caravan, Saturday dawned with just me at the Warren and loads of Swifts moving! As a Pacific Swift had passed the same place the previous weekend I felt a little anxious. Thankfully both Roy Taylors junior and senior (last seen by my c30 years ago) soon joined me.
In the end we counted some 2,830 Swifts on Saturday morning mostly in the first 4 hours. Meanwhile Little Gulls were also putting on a show with c 500 both offshore and flying over head. The next day c200 fed off our caravan with many also coming to rest on the sand at Beacon Ponds (largest count 170 birds). Wader passage (viewable from both the Warren and my Caravan) was also excellent with small number but great variety heading south. Species included Black-tailed (Icelandic of course!) and Bar-tailed Godwit, Sanderling, Whimbrel, Turnstone, Redshank, Curlew, Golden Plover. Knot, Oystercatcher and Greenshank. Tern variety was also excellent with highlights being a group of 20 Arctic Terns and harassed by this subadult Arctic Skua early morning:
Later on in the afternoon and excellent find (Roy T Junior) was this wandering juvenile Red Kite. At one stage it flew right over me head. No camera with me though. Thanks to Gareth Picton for the photos.
Sunday 17th brought more Swifts, passing waders and Little Gulls. Beacon Ponds was good value headlined by a summer plumaged Black Tern in the morning.
part of flock of c170 Little Gulls at Beacon Ponds. Interestingly I noted 1st summers, 2nd summers and adults all with black hoods. Up until this weekend the few Little Gulls I had seen were 1st summers without black hoods. Did the ‘hooded’ 1st summers have enough hormone impulse to get them breeding ground while the non-hooded first summers stayed further south?
Little Terns– doing well at Beacon Ponds.