Finally a trip out to one of my favorite birding spots, Spurn. We set off on a lovely sunny morning and arrived mid am at Spurn to find the car park behind the Blue Bell full and the overspill not yet open. Never mind, down to Canal Scrape where we parked the trusty focus and started birding by visiting the hide. Here we were treated to excellent views of plenty of Yellow Wagtails scurrying around on the grassy sward before the pool. The air was full of their buzzy calls. Also taking advantage of the insects were a bevy of Swallows swooping over the water and occasionally trailing a line of ripples as they snatched a drink. Sharing this airspace over the pool was a fine male Emperor Dragonfly.
Yellow Wagtail. (that pesky piece of grass GRRRR!)
After enjoying this tranquil spot (YWT DON”T put a Visitor Centre here please!), we walked down the road towards the Blue Bell, enjoying views of 4 Whinchat bobbing up and down off the fence and phrag’ down one of the dykes. Also here a Willow Warbler danced along a piece of barbed wire fence before diving back into cover.
Heading down Beacon Lane we managed to miss a Pied Fly and didn’t join the throng waiting for a Wood Warbler. Once into the solitude of the lane we were pleased to see a good number of Wall Brown Butterflies, each male defending his own stretch of the path.
Other Butterflies here included, Peacock, Comma, Painted Lady, two Whites and Meadow Brown. Also flying amongst the flowers were numerous Silver Y moths. Here too the ever present Swallows were fueling up for their southerly journeys.
A single Sedge was still carrying food to a brood deep in the vegetation behind the pool. Also on the pool where Ruddy and Common Darters.
Next a very disappointing stop at the cafe now under YWT management (rock hard scones and told at 12.30 pm no sandwiches etc available), such a pity as this was my favorite cafe anywhere before this summer!
After this sad interlude we strolled down the road to the Crown and Anchor via an entertaining family of Lesser Whitethroats darting around a sunny spot near the BB Campsite, and then up the Canal Bank back towards the car.
We enjoyed more great butterflies and flowers before a great moment as a large warbler appeared flying down the canal towards us from the canal zone area. It passed me as I tried to alert the others (all I could say was OOO OOO OOO!), the bird pitched into some of the nearby bushes, a quiet approach produced brief but good views of a classic 1st w Barred Warbler before the bird seemed to just drop down… never to be seen again. Pretty much classic Barred sighting for me, I always think they are a bit “magicians rabbits” popping up and disappearing just as fast!
Rough Sketch of Barred warbler.
Back at the car we decided to head down to Sammys Point. Here birds were again good, with Med Gull, Little Egret and a close Whimbrel being amaongst the highlights. Again Swallows dashed past heading down the coast towards Spurn, and yet again the rasping Yellow Wags were calling from the blue sky.
Common Blue (male).