Friday, 22 May 2009

Subalp Anniversary

I think 21 years ago today was, at the time, regarded as our greatest days birding ('88, but it might have been '89).  A Subalpine Warbler had been found in Little Hedge and was proving quite elusive and regular birding companions Ben, Steve Mulligan and a few others had been led a merry dance for good views until it was trapped and ringed.  In-the-hand views of a female.  Excellent.  Previous to this we'd been wandering past the obs when Barry came out to stop us and show us a Red-breasted Flycather he'd just trapped at the Warren.  Us being young and still learning he pointed out the tail pattern.
"There, look at the white tear-drops on the tail" said Barry as he fanned it's tail for us.
"Oh yeah" said Ben.
"Cheers Barry" said I.

Kentish Plover off the narrows followed by another in-the-hand view, this time of a Grasshopper Warbler.
PLus good numbers of more common stuff.
Great days as a 14 year-old.

Back to today.  Spurn.
Early morning visual migration watching at Spurn from first light just south of the Warren.  Most of the regulars now stand at the top end of Clubley's which affords wide ranging views across the area.  Years ago, we stood at the Narrows but today I decided on New Road on a dune.  Alone.

Hirundines moving had been the order of the week so far, with red-arsed hirundines passing through on three out of four days.Where I was stood along the peninsular (anag: 'lunar penis' which means moon cock) is very narrow so all birds filtering through were passing close to me making bi-nocular action irrelevant which was good because the were streaming through very fast.  No red-arsed hirundine passed me but good numbers of other stuff did.

06:30 - 08:00 every fucking thing south unless otherwise stated:
129 Swallow
96 House Martin
6 Sand Martin
10 Swift
11 Jackdaw
7 Carrion Crow
4 Mipits
12 Goldfinch
2 Chaffinch
1 Greenfinch
11 Linnet
3 Kestrel
2 Tufted Duckies out east
1 Grey Footballers Wives and Girlfriend
24 Woodpigeon
4 Collard Dove
1 Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
12 LBB Gull
5 BH Gull

Really though, a Blue-cheeked Bee-eater was seen flying north-west over a town in Holland the day before, to which I reckoned it may continue on that path, make landfall somewhere north of Spurn sometime last night, then relocate south this morning passing through Spurn at 7:23am to my calculations and to my fucking brilliant amazement................IT DID!!  Brilliant!

Did it fuck, but it was worth a go.

Went to Easington for an Iccy from yesterday.  No Iccy but I did see a small, dead shark in the middle of the road which on closer inspection turned out to be some large, funny-shaped horse shit.
From a horses hairy arsehole.

Subalpine Warbler, 22nd May (maybe) 1988 (or 89)


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