Thursday, May 20, 2010

18th May,2010

Away early with the first stop being the North Cave Reserve near to Junction 38 on the M62. Developed from former gravel workings this is a great site with lots of bird interest. Avocets breed, probably the first freshwater site at which it occurred, and a substantial artificial Sand Martin breeding "cliff" is present, both distinctive features besides it being a good site for migrant waders, gulls, terns etc. We then moved on and managed to see Red Kite at a breeding area, a single bird wheeling around in a clear blue sky.

A wetland area at Swinemoor held no passage waders so we pushed on to Tophill Low Reservoirs where an array of commoner duck species, Turtle Dove and the single Temminck's Stint were seen. The latter was a bit difficult to pin down initially but eventually provided good views. On to the coast at Flamborough where Gannets and auks were seen offshore in numbers given the area is a short distance from the huge seabird colonies on Bempton Cliffs to the north. Best of all was views of a Woodchat Shrike in an area to the south reached by a pleasant walk along the cliff top.

We then had a rather hot drive south to visit Welwick, near Patrington where we then made a somewhat frustrating examination of an extensive area of saltmarsh and various major drainage channels given our hope to see the Purple Heron which had been present over the last couple of days. Birds seen here included Little Egrets, Marsh Harriers,and a flock of over 100 Dark bellied Brent Geese. We were fortunate in seeing a group of Whimbrel leave the nearby Humber Estuary and fly off north eastwards, climbing steadily at a 45 degree angle, calling all the while, before they headed off overland at a height almost beyond vision.

Finally, we reached our destination, Spurn Peninsula, where we celebrated our successes and failures of the day over our meal at the local pub before retiring to our overnight accommodation at a local farm.

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