Friday, August 26, 2011

East coast again! 25.8.2011.

Looking at the weather, taking into account what had occurred elsewhere along the east coast of Britain, I judged that the rain overnight and early morning might have resulted in night passage migrants being grounded and so I went to Spurn again. I was wrong, as little of note was in evidence, although a Pied Flycatcher turned up around lunchtime. Compared to other places, Yorkshire has missed out in some respects as far as good passerines are concerned, but that's birding. A few Black Terns moving southwards over the sea were nice, but little else. Again, waders were worth looking at with Knot and Bar-tailed Godwit showing birds in partial summer plumage with, again, Grey Plover being seen in full resplendent breeding dress. By contrast all Sanderling I saw were in winter plumage!

Mid afternoon saw me move northwards to Hornsea to hopefully witness something I've never had the privilege of witnessing, the presence of massed numbers of Little Gulls on the Mere.This is something which only happens in late summer/early autumn, but numbers have reached a mind boggling 500 on occasions. Filling in the time before the "reputed hour" I managed to find the reported two Black-necked Grebe, and also four Red-crested Pochard and then settled in for the evening arrival. Little did I know that the site where the car park is situated closed at tea time, is gated off, so I had to leave a little prematurely. However, the guy in charge was extremely helpful and explained the best site from which they can be seen and counted. He also put me on to a resting out place that they use regardless of their feeding movements in the evening. And so I had brilliant views of seven juvenile birds and three adults on one of the yachting piers within the "marina part" of the Mere. Small beer compared to the 300/400 birds which can descend on the area in the evenings on some occasions, moving , presumably, from the areas offshore where they feed during the day. Their arrival can take place any time from 1600 to 2000 hours, all of which is somewhat unpredictable. After hanging on for a while, it seemed this day fell into the latter category, and so I left unrewarded with a desired phenomenon still a future diary entry.

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