Lotsa Swifts, Little Gulls and a baby Red Kite

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.

Juvenile Sandwich Tern. Beacon Ponds 17th July 2011. Easy to tell from juveniles of the North American Sandwich (Cabot’s Tern). Do you know how?

Rael Butcher holds a Common Swift trapped by flick-netting at the Warren. But what age is it, an adult or first summer? 17th July 2011

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:

Subadult Arctic Skua, Spurn 16th July 2011. Check out those chequered underwings which are all plain on adults. Meanwhile 500 Little Gull put on an excellent show:

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.

About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
This entry was posted in Gulls, Raptors, Swifts. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s