Early October and its Spurn time again!  Our dear wives look forward to it just as much as we do, I think.  After all the exciting few weeks that we have had recently at Spurn, we thought that with the weather, not appearing to be very good for migrants, that it could be quiet, correct! Caravan booked at the excellent “Sandy Beaches” and with all our supplies myself, Bob K & Steve K set off at 6am with Bob at the wheel. First stop was Stone Creek to meet John Hewitt (co finder of the Mugamaki Flycatcher a few years ago) He always keeps us up to date with the passing birds from this area. His dedication to this area has to be admired and his knowledge of the quantity of birds is second to none. After a nice 30 minutes with John we usually walk up to Stone Creek Battery to see what we can find but, with the tide in, we headed to Patrington Haven to see what we could find.  In the fields on the way we saw a small party of Red legged Partridge & a single Grey Partridge. On the walk up to the Haven (of last years long staying Ivory Gull fame) we saw two Marsh Harriers hunting the area. Lots of the more common waders, ducks & geese were seen. A Yellow browed Warbler had been reported at Easington Gas Terminal so off we headed.  A few “dudes” where looking for the bird, but no joy, a few Wheatears seen and the sea was very quiet. There followed a walk in from the north to Easington Lagoons, yes its a long way, and with all the waters having been flooded by the tidal surges, no waders were seen at all. 362 Brent Geese, 5 Pink footed Geese where the highlight. We were joined by Billy from Middlesborough who told us about his recent trip to Japan, what a place that is!  We had a look around Kilnsea, Crown & Anchor and Canal Scrape (with a silent C) the birding was very slow. Then lots of Swallows were seen in the last 2 hours of daylight and a single Whinchat. At the caravan we enjoyed a hearty meal of Goulash and then headed for the club along with Martin Q, Steve & Chris B. Saturday morning and a check of the birds on the Humber with lots of the more common waders but, alas, no Curlew Sandpiper. A Firecrest was eventually seen well at Pancho`s Pond, Kilnsea then a Yellow browed Warbler near the Crown & Anchor. After breakfast we checked out the sea and the Warren area and had a walk up to the area that the sea had washed away last winter. A smart Merlin was the only bird of note apart from uncountable waders on the Humber, very spectacular. It makes the area from the old “narrows” to the point an island 2 hours before & after high tide. No vehicles are allowed beyond the Warren, so, if a rare bird is found a long walk will be required. A call from Martin Q alerted us that a Barred Warbler was showing well at the silent “C” canal scrape. At twitch speed (only to check our response time out really) we got to the hide and within 10 minutes were enjoying distant views of the Barred Warbler, nice one Martin. We then headed for the Sandy Beaches clubhouse to watch Wigan v St Helens grand final. A couple of punches from an irate Wigan player and after lots of disappointing finals the championship was heading to St Helens!  At the Crown & Anchor we entered the quiz and after loaning one of our number out to an opposing team, we enjoyed a good laugh. Steve & Mandy R from Rossendale also joined us.  After being beaten by one point we headed back to the club for a nightcap. Sunday morning started very misty and a trip to Sammy!s Point was arranged. Next to no birds were seen there, I cannot remember it so empty. After a brew & a meal we broke camp and headed for home. Despite the lack of anything rare we all had enjoyed ourselves in excellent sunny conditions and will all be back next year.

Dave O.


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