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June 2017 Sightings

30th June 2017 - Swifts!

The Swift is probably Spurn’s most iconic bird, and we are fast approaching ‘Swift Season’ here at the Obs, when, given the right weather conditions, huge numbers pass south down the Peninsula.

It is possibly vismig at its purest form, with flocks of ‘devilbirds’ wheeling over Kilnsea before passing low over observers’ heads, often in a ceaseless passage of hundreds, if not thousands of birds. See the taster video below.

Spurn's Peak Swift Passage occurs between the 20th June – 10th July, with the record day count on 4th July 2010, when 21,000 Swifts passed through south.

Plus there’s always the chance of a rarer congener within the mix. All 5 Spurn observations of Pacific Swift and 1 Little Swift have turned up during this time, just a matter of being in the right place at the right time!


There’s still availability to stay in the Observatory in June and July, if you want to try and jam in on some blistering swift action – maybe a new record count or -dare to dream- a White-throated Needletail. To enquire about booking, email accommodation.spurnbirdobs@hotmail.com or ring Paul or Rael on 01964 650479

A true spectacle, don't miss out!

A true spectacle, don't miss out!

the essence of Spurn early summer - Swifts shooting by the Numpties watchpoint July 2012

the essence of Spurn early summer - Swifts shooting by the Numpties watchpoint July 2012

The Pacific Swift of 12/06/2013 - the 4th Spurn record in 7 years!

The Pacific Swift of 12/06/2013 - the 4th Spurn record in 7 years!

Swifts at Spurn Bird Obs from Tim Jones on Vimeo.

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21st June 2017 - Wednesday

A cooler day with hazy sunshine and a F2 E wind.
Migration Watches: 0530-1030, 1400-1500.

A typically slow summertime day, with bits of everything, but no real movement or change.

Moving over the sea were 10 Eider, 36 Common Scoter, 8 Manx Shearwater, 1 Fulmar, 27 Gannet, 11 Cormorant, 10 Sandwich Tern, 2 Auk sp and 3 Guillemot.
Overland were 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Hobby, 10 Swift and 3 Flava Wagtail.

Other birds of note were 3 Wigeon, 2 Gadwall, 2 Grey Partridge, 1 Little-ringed Plover, 135 Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Avocet with 3 young, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Little Gull, 1 Yellow-legged Gull, 2 ad and 4 juvenile Blackcap at Rose cottage.

Ringing: 5 Blackbird pulli, 1 Dunnock, 1 Blue Tit.

Little Egret.

Little Egret.

Great Tit.

Great Tit.

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20th June 2017 - Tuesday

A foggy start which never really cleared with a F2 ESE wind.
Migration Watches: 1030-1430.
A poor day due to the weather, with little birding till late on the morning.

Quiet over the sea with 67 Common Scoter, 36 Gannet, 3 Cormorant, 1 Arctic Tern and 22 Sandwich Tern and 1 Guillemot while overland 18 Swift, 1 Sand Martin, 14 Swallow and 3 House Martin.

Other birds of note were 2 Wigeon, the first returning Green Sandpiper, 74 Dunlin, 1 Cuckoo while a pair of Chiffchaff were at Sammys with 1+ Juveniles.

A Broad-bodied chaser was in Churchfield.

Ringing: 1 Blackcap, 1 Blue Tit.

Hairy Dragonfly. Mick Turton. Pic from the 27th May, the 1st record for Spurn of this much anticipated Dragonfly.

Hairy Dragonfly. Mick Turton. Pic from the 27th May, the 1st record for Spurn of this much anticipated Dragonfly.

Use the navigation at the top left of the page to see more sightings.

19th June 2017 - Monday

Another hot sunny day without a cloud in the sky until late afternoon with a F1 variable wind.
Migration Watches: 0530-1200.

In line with other movements along the coast in the last week or so, plenty of Common Scoter on the move today. A colour ringed Little Egret was present on Kilnsea wetlands, red on left leg with letter F and Yellow on right with an N.

Moving over the sea were 4 Eider, 713 Common Scoter (with 313 over the sea and 400 over the Humber), 8 Manx Shearwater, 7 Cormorant, 1 Curlew in/off.
Overland were 1 Common Buzzard, 325 Swift, 1 Flava wagtail, 1 Alba Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, 13 Sand Martin, 25 Swallow, 4 House Martin, 2 Siskin and 3 Corn Bunting.

Other birds of note were 5 Wigeon, 59 Mallard, 235 Grey Plover, 74 Dunlin, 5 Redshank, 3x 1st summer Little Gull on Beacon ponds and 1 Cuckoo.

Good numbers of Meadow Brown were on the wing 30+ with also Ringlets and Speckled Woods in good numbers.

Ringing: 1 Song Thrush, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff.

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18th June 2017 - Sunday

Another bright sunny day with very little cloud and a F1 variable wind.
Migration Watches: 0410-1100, 1215-1345.

While some Arctic bound wader species have only left to breed a few weeks ago, the numbers of returning waders are slowly increasing. Many people find it strange, being so early in the season, but some females of some species such as Curlew leave there chicks soon after hatching with the male, to guard over them while they return to wintering areas.

Quiet over the sea with 16 Common Scoter, 38 Shelduck, 1 Gannet, 2 Fulmar, 11 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 3 Cormorant and 53 Sandwich Tern and 1 Auk sp while also little on the move overland 170 Swift, 1 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 4 House Martin and 1 Corn Bunting.

Other birds of note were 2 Wigeon, 296 Grey Plover, 9 Golden Plover, 1 Snipe, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Redshank and 2 Whimbrel, 1 Short-eared Owl, 1 Barn Owl and 3 Cuckoo.

Fantastic numbers of Azure Damselfly on the wing with 50+ seen today, plus good numbers of other Dragonflies and Butterflies while a generally unwelcome visitor to the area, a Grey Squirrel was in Kilnsea.

Ringing: 1 Wren, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Great Tit.

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17th June 2017 - Saturday

The hottest day of the year, with plenty of sunshine and high wispy clouds with a F1 NW-SE wind..
Migration Watches: 0425-1030.

Another quiet day, but the first beginnings of waders on the move south began. Finding out the origin of 10 Bar-headed Geese which included 2 juveniles mobile in the area today would be interesting.

On the move today were 3 Grey Heron, 1 Marsh Harrier, 54 Swift, 13 Sand Martin, 7 Swallow.
Over the sea were 3 Tufted Duck, 8 Shelduck, 60 Common Scoter, 1 Fulmar, 27 Gannet, 8 Cormorant, 2 Dunlin, 15 Knot, 1 Snipe on/off, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Curlew, adult Mediterranean Gull, 11 Black-headed Gull, 1 Kittiwake and 20 Sandwich Tern.

Other bits of interest were 2 Wigeon, 62 Mallard, 5 Grey Heron, 1 Little-ringed Plover and 1 Short-eared Owl.

Ringing: 1 Dunnock, 2 Great Tit, 2 House Sparrow (1 pulli).

Use the navigation at the top left of the page to see more sightings.

16th June 2017 - Friday

Another hot sunny day with sporadic cloudy periods.
Migration Watches: 0520-1500.

A steady day, but good numbers of Waders remain in the area.

On the move today were 3 Grey Heron, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Red Kite, 1 Common Buzzard, 215 Swift, 15 Sand Martin, 20 Swallow and 17 House Martin.
Over the sea were 5 Tufted Duck, 242 Common Scoter, 10 Manx Shearwater, 2 Fulmar, 61 Gannet, 8 Cormorant, 1 Kittiwake, 30 Sandwich Tern, 1 Arctic Tern, 23 Auk sp and 6 Guillemot.

Other bits of interest were 3 Wigeon, 4 Gadwall, 18 Little Egret, 162 Oystercatcher, 88 Bar tailed Godwit, 4 Lapwing, 200 Grey Plover, 3 Golden Plover, 8 Sanderling, 3 Curlew, 1 Whimbrel, 4 Redshank, 1 Short-eared Owl, 2 Cuckoo and a Mistle Thrush in the Triangle.

Ringing: 2 Blue Tit.

Use the navigation at the top left of the page to see more sightings.

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