Fuck my old boots it's exciting! The Sandhill Crane on South Ronaldsey flew south yesterday and was tracked for some 40 miles on the mainland by a couple of intrepid birders until they lost it just north of Inverness the useless bastards! Only joking, they did a great job and lost it when it flew inland. So of course everyone is now hoping it will get picked up again on its mini migration south and its route mapped along the coutry with birders set south of the last sighting to hopefully see it continue. So far it has not been relocated, but the info I've read on Anthill Cranes suggest that they travel upto 300-500 miles in a day when migrating so that would place it still north of here by roost tonight. It will then continue its southward journey at first light tomorrow, passing through Spurn at around 10:00a.m. Easy. First for Spurn. First for Yorkshire.
It's even coming in to land at the point the american bastard.
Please no hats tomorrow at Spurn as hats are not allowed at Spurn tomorrow.
20th day of the ninth month.
2 American Wigeons had been reported at Tophill Low, scene of the excellent jam-in on Britain's first Amur Falcon last October which caused quite a stir as it wasn't identified until after its departure. The regions birders very unfairly getting a bit of bad press for not IDing it initially.
What happened was the bird was firstly called as a Red-footed Falcon, rightly so at first. It wasn't until much later on in its stay that the diagnostic white underwing coverts started moulting in and was identifiable as the first Amur Falcon but perhaps by this time the leading birders in the area had already seen it or simply chose not to see it! Okay, the photos later on are incriminating, but I bumped into the guy who'd taken the clinching photos and he actually felt bad about it. He hadn't really looked at his shots until sometime after, fair enough, then he uploaded them to Birdguides after which someone with a keen eye spotted the features.
"Fuck em" I said, "It's really not your fault".
A certain 'big name birder' had even e-mailed him berating him for the episode.
Hang on a minute.
Bear with me here.
The photos (and others) were posted on Birdguides and other places, yes? Correct. And I'm safe in saying that this well known birder would look at photos of birds on the internet, yes? Particularly rare birds, agree? Of course, everyone does. So I'll put a pound to a penny that the very same birders who were complaining saw the pictures and simply passed it off as 'just another Red-foot'!!!!! Exactly. They've done exactly the same thing that the naughty local birders and photographers had done, passed it off as a Red-foot. Understandable? Yes! It'd been a Red-foot for a good few weeks by then. Imagine being a birder who does Tophill regularly. Would you stop and scrutinise this Red-Foot every day? The 10th day in a row you'd seen it? If it were me that had seen it every day for 10 days I think I would take the time to look at it if I was passing and if it were showing well but that's maybe about it. Am I right in saying that? Maybe?
Well anyway, fuck off all of you that missed it and played up fuck that all Yorkshire birders fucked the ID up. There are loads of proper really good birders around here.
Amur Falcon? Yeah I've seen one in Britain.
There were 3 Buzzards over the car park as I got out of the car. One had a bit of a nice arse and was looking good in a pair of hotpants.
"Fuck me, have you seen that sexy one on the right?" I asked the five or six that were looking skyward with me.
"Erm......I think that one's a male. You can see a bit of a packet at the front between its legs" a middle-aged gentleman pointed out. Shit. On further scrutiny he was right, the one in the hotpants DID have quite a packing-up, certainly a lot bigger than the average Camel's Foot that you'd see on a female in hotpants.
I felt sick.
I'd been checking out a bloke Buzzard butt! Jesus, I'm never gonna live this down!
But then again, who would expect a male Buzzard to be wearing hotpants? Not me that's for sure! Perhaps he gets on the other bus? Either way, I was either eyeing up a homosexual male Buzzards arse or a straight male Buzzards arse, shit.
Shamed and embarrassed, I retired to North Lagoon hide and looked for the Yank Wigaons, alas, to no avail. But I did wolf whistle out of the hide at a female Shoveler and shouted "get your tits out" at her to prove my manliness to those around me.
Spurn looked good for action today and I was proved.........wrong! Not really it was quite good.
Pied Fly, Snow Bunt, Restart, 3 Willow Warblers, just the one Lesser Whitethroated Sylvia Warbler, Wigeon, loads of Meadow Pipits moving, loads on the deck, there were loads on the beaches, there were loads on the landing grounds, there were loads in the fields and in the streets, there were loads in the hills, we shall never surrender! 4+ Wheatear, a crazy Whinchat, a Greater 'Pecker, 18,463,003 Goldfinches, a Hobby shot across Walker Butts gained height and went south out to sea, but then half an hour later another Hobby came back north which was probably the same one u-turning, again going through low over the triangle scattering the local Starling flock.
A Starling shouted "incoming!" and they all drew their belongings together and flew off into the mid afternoon sky panicking and shitting as they went.
A Red-backed Shrike reported at Sammy's Point, Easington. I was about to head off homeward anyway so called in on the way back. A decent crowd was watching from the car park so no walk required and there it was right in front of us! Easy this birding (twitching?) lark.
Hang on. Just hang on there, people.
This is no Red-Backed fucking Shrike!
"Erm......it's a Woodchat" I said to the people next to me.
"Yes, did you not know?"
"Did I fuck, Mrs!".
It had been correctly identified as I was traveling. A bit of a surprise. Nice. It was an immature and was really showy, proper good bird.
Had a wander along Sammy's while I was there. Immediately, a Snow Bunting walked out in front of me, very confiding with views down to 5 metres when it was joined by a Wheatear which was very very confiding. It literally walked up to my feet to catch a bug. A few more Wheatears and a Redstart was about it.
This was taken on my mobile phone camera which is supposed to show you just how very, very confiding the Wheatear was. You're not bothered? Well fuck you then, I'm going to show you anyway:
Can't you even see it? Well at least try to look for it.
Look, it's there. Is that any better for you?
I can't believe I've even got to point things out to you
on top quality nature photographs such as these.
Beautiful action close up shot.
I named my new friend 'Alan' which I think is a terrific
name for a Wheatear. I've actually hand reared Alan from birth
which is why he is so tame, but now is the time to release
Alan into the wild, look after yourself Alan........goodbye Alan......
15th Zebdember. Yesterday saw a good day at Spurn (here) and today was also good in the end. It started off slowly, it was quite hard work with everything sitting down in the wind. Nothing at all in the first hour so a change of tactics was required. I ended up going very slow and focusing around areas of sheltered sunshine out of the wind. A slow walk along the sea path past the borrow pit produced 3 Wheatears,5 Skylark and a Whinchat amongst good numbers of M Pipits. then a really slow walk around canal hedge produced Lesser Whitethroat, Goldcrest, 3 Snipe circled twice (horizontally not loop-the-loop) before going south, a Snow Bunting on canal scrape along with a Yellow Wag, 4 Dabchick, 14 Teal and a Wigeon.
A Red-breasted Flycatcherer was found in the Church and then showed quite nicely in the Crown car park. A Spotted Flycatchererer was in the field at the rear of the Crown, several Redstart along the peninsula, a Brambling, and a Sparrowhawk. I'd checked the Gulls in the fields betwixt Easington and Kilnsea and found nothing out of the ordinary but there was a good finch flock building up mainly consisting of Greefinchii and Linnets with a couple of Yellowhammer strutting their stuff.
There. What a very sensible, bird related post with no swearing and no attempts at jokes, just how it should be! A bit boring though.
Today saw the start of the Clipper around-the-world-face (boat race) from Hull and there were many viewing places with entertainment all along the Humber from Hull to Spurn. With crowds drawn from far afield, the parking was restricted meaning I had to park at the Crown and walk along the canal then south of the Warren to an assembled crowd looking for the Booted Warbler that had been present.
It was windy. Fucking windy. If I were a Booted Warbler in this weather I'd sit really low in the bushes and only fly in short bursts but only when I really needed to. And funnily enough that's just what this Booted Warbler was doing, can't blame the little fella.
There it goes!
A 2 metre burst of flight and a really really shite view of a sandy-brown pale thing. It actually could've been a party-sized sausage roll wrapped in a brown paper bag that someone had just thrown but I didn't care! Year tick! Woooah! Hang on a minute there. What the fuck does 'Party-sized' mean? They're actually SMALLER than normal-sized sausage rolls! How does that work? Not much of a party. If I were to call something 'party-sized' it would be because it was bigger and better than a normal sized something. Party sized things should be brilliant and massive!
"Here, Mr Quigley, there's a PARTY SIZED bottle of champers for your massive birthday PARTY" and the guy hands me a big, fuck off magnum of Moet that's nearly as big as me and the party really kicks off with people all lauging, getting wrecked and fingering the girls. Now that's what I call party sized!
So when one recieves a party sized sausage roll and it's just a mini, bite-sized one, am I the only person that's slightly disappointed?
That's not PARTY FUCKING SIZED you tight bastards, go get a big, fuck-off sausage roll and give THAT to the kids and say 'Now THAT'S a party sized sausage roll' and see their tiny faces light up at the enormous meat and pastry treat before them.
A Pied Flycatcher was near the Warren and the sea looked like there was going to be huge numbers moving as Gannets were streaming past in the Northerlies. Absolutely streaming past and 12 Common Scoter were fooishly trying to head north into the wind until I'm sure I heard the one at the front shout "Fuck this!" and they rather sensibly turned back south.
The Gannet movement was a new record for Spurn with some 3633 recorded going south. Jesus Holy Mary Mother of God! As ever, keep up-to-date with the full totals here and not just read about what I can or can't be bothered to tell you what was at Spurn.