Spurn Bird Observatory Sightings 2023

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Summary of latest sightings

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Sunday, 31 December 2023

The year 2023 had some fantastic rarities on offer along with a good array of scarcities with the vismiggers enjoying some good visible migration especially in the autumn, with big numbers of Pipits and Finches which also saw some big arrivals of Thrushes including 125 Ring Ouzels on the 8th October but yet again there were few common migrants such as Robins, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs in these falls which is concerning.

The year had three more additions for the areas already impressive list beginning in March with our 1st Dartford Warbler present for two days, a totally off the radar Upland Sandpiper which flew south in September and a long overdue first Black-throated Thrush.  The 3rd Pacific Golden Plover showed well and very popular visitors to KIlnsea wetllands were a drake Ring-necked Duck and American Wigeon both very welcome grip backs for many locals, while our 4th Red-eyed Vireo was part of an exceptional arrival of American vagrants to the UK, our 6th Great Reed Warbler briefly at Sammies, drake Green-winged Teal in the usual area of Kilnsea wetlands with a spring Pallid Harrier putting in a couple of appearances, the 7th Great Snipe occasionally showed well but unusually was a spring bird, our 10th Glossy Ibis began a series of records with two groups of three in the next week were maybe different, our 11th American Golden Plover intermittently for 10 days, the 13th White-tailed Eagle a wild adult over the Humber, a  Pallid Swift late in the year plus another annual Cattle Egret, our 16th Blyth’s Reed Warbler singing on the Obs garden while a close inshore Great Shearwater was the star of MigFest, the 17th Kentish Plover on the Humber, the 18-20th Red-flanked Bluetails for what is now an expected visitor and our 20-21st Arctic Redpolls were first for several years. Others worth mentioning were the 21st Rustic Bunting continuing the trend with at least one record every two years and the 30-32nd Alpine Swifts part of a national influx.

It was yet again good for scarce birds seen during the year, expected birds missing though included Bewick’s Swan, Honey Buzzard, White-rumped Sandpiper, Bittern, Citrine Wagtail, Pallas’s Warbler and Bluethroat but included some not seen in previous years. Notable birds were 4 Cory’s Shearwaters, several Leach’s Petrels including a spring bird, 2 Rough-legged Buzzard, a Montagu’s Harrier, 2 Pectoral Sandpipers, 3 Temminck’s Stint3 Grey Phalaropes, a Corncrake, a Common Crane, 6 Nightjars, 5 Bee-eaters, a single Golden Oriole5 Turtle Dovesa Hoopoe11 Wood Larks3 Shore Larks, a Richard’s Pipit, 3 Red-rumped Swallows, 6 Marsh Warblers, maybe 10 Barred Warblers inc one in November, 7 Icterine Warbler2 Dusky Warbler, decent numbers of Yellow-browed Warblers, a Greenish Warbler, 2 Wood Warblers, 3 Red-breasted Flycatcher8 Red-backed Shrikes, a Great Grey Shrike3 Wrynecks4 Rosefinches, 25 Hawfinches, 2 Ortolan Buntings, single Serin and 7 Little Bunting. (All sightings and totals need to be ratified and accepted).  Happy Birding in 2024.

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Sunday, 31 December 2023

Heavy rain with sunny spells later and a F3  south westerly.

The final day of a great year saw some decent movement over the sea with 12 Wigeon, 44 Teal, 22 Common Scoter, 22 Kittiwakes, 2 Little Auks, 255 Red-throated Divers and 2 Gannets. 

The ponds area had 57 Whooper Swans, 27 Shovelers, 667 Wigeon, 32 Mallard, 120 Teal and 25 Black-tailed Godwits. 

Watches 0730-1000, 1300-1500.

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Saturday, 30 December 2023

Cloudy throughout the day but a decreasing south easterly. 

Nothing different was seen during the day with 57 Whooper Swans on Easington straight though 148 Red-throated Divers moving over the sea and 5 Siskins flew south.

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Friday, 29 December 2023

Remaining windy with a F6 south westerly but more sunny spells with showers in the afternoon. 

The best of the sightings today wwre fronm the ponds area with 50 Brent Geese, a Canada Goose, 153 Greylag Geese, 25 Mute Swans, 57 Whooper Swans, 26 Shovelers, 606 Wigeon, 158 Teal, a Goldeneye. 9 Little Grebes, 4 Little Egrets and 2 Short-eared Owls

Watches: 0730-1000.

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Thursday, 28 December 2023

The odd sunny spell in a generally wet and windy day driven by a F7 westerly.

The day saw some movement over the sea the best being 85 Pink-footed Geese, 3 Pintails, 3 Eider, 31 Kittiwakes, a Little Gull, 31 Red-throated Divers and 27 Gannets. 

The best of the other sightings saw the Siberian Chiffchaff again at the seage works and 55 Whooper Swans on Easington straight. 

Watches 07:30-10:00, 10:15-12:45.

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Wednesday, 27 December 2023

A wet and breezy day with a F5 south easterly. 

The best of todays sightings were from the long bank area with 56 Whooper Swans, 658 Wigeon, 110 Teal, 30 Lapwings, 150 Culrews, 600 Black-tailed Godwits and 450 Redshanks. 

Over the sea 23 Common Scoters, a Fulmar and 3 Gannets were the best of very little.

Watch times: 0730-1000, 1325-1525.

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Tuesday, 26 December 2023

A sunny calmer day with a light westerly. 

It was a nicer day around the area and a better day for birding the Siberian Chiffchaff and 4 Chiffchaffs around the sewage works again, a Bullfinch in Kilnsea and 3 Siskins and a Woodcock at Sammies. 

Over the sea a Velvet Scoter flew south and there were great counts of 510 Razorbills and 747 Common Gulls. 

There are now 69 Whooper Swans wandering between Kilnsea wetlands and Sammies with also a Pale-bellied Brent among 470 Brent Geese in the same area with the added bonus of a 1cy Caspian Gull.

 Watches 0730-1000.

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Monday, 25 December 2023

Cloudy with sunny spells anda F4 westerly. 

An unexpected Firecrest was in the garden of Hillrise in Easington but after that it was the usuals that made up the other sightings during the day with 26 Whooper Swans on Easington straight with 553 Wigeon, 218 Teal, 2 Gadwalls and 20 Shovelers on Kilnsea wetlands along with a brief Red-breasted Merganser.

Over the sea a Great Northern Diver flew south.

Ringing Blackbird 3, Robin 1. 4/2. Watches 0725-1000, 1045-1230.

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Sunday, 24 December 2023

The strong F6 south westerly with gusts of F8+ continued. 

There was little change yet again with the 55 Whooper Swans on Easington straight plus good numbers of Wildfowl still in the ponds area. 

Over the sea a Great Northen Diver was noteworthy while a brief Waxwing was at southfield farm.

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Saturday, 23 December 2023

A very windy blustery day with a F6 south westerly. 

Not much change in the ponds area with 52 Whooper Swans still present with 31 Shovelers, 650 Wigeon, 240 Teal and 6 Goldeneyes

In churchfield 6 Waxwings put in a brief visit but were fushed by a Sparrowhawk. 

 Ringing: Blackbird 3, Waxwing 1. 4/2. Watches 0730-1000, 1130-1330.

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Friday, 22 December 2023

The odd sunny spell in a generally cloudy day with a strong F6 north westerly.  Little change overall with the 55 Whooper Swans still present (including the 2 dark billed birds) and the Whimbrel again by grange farm. In the ponds area Duck numbers remained high being joined by a Pale-bellied Brent with 350 Brent Geese.

Long bank had 212 Curlews, 80 Lapwings, single Little Egret and a Common Buzzard.

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Thursday, 21 December 2023

A mixture of sunshine and cloud all the while a F6 gusting F9-10 north westerly made life difficult for birds and birders alike. 

The day was yet again dominated by Wildfowl, a Velvet Scoter and 21 Common Scoter over the sea and 55 Whooper Swans, 24 Mute Swans, 80 Greylag Geese, 26 Shovelers, 658 Wigeons and 100 Teal in the ponds and Easington straight area. 

Elsewhere 2 Mediterranean Gulls were by the gas terminal and 2 Coal Tits still on seaside road. 

Watches: 0700-1000, 1015-11:45.

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Wednesday, 20 December 2023

Overcast with drizzle and a F4 south westerly. 

The Siberian Chiffchaff and 2 Chiffchaffs were still at the sewage works in Easington. It was busy on Easington straight with an impressive 55 Whooper Swans, 21 Mute Swans, a Canada Goose and 135 Greylag Geese. 

Elsewhere the adult Marsh Harrier was still about wandering the area and Kilnsea wetlands had 579 Wigeons, 199 Teal and 26 Shovelers. 

Watches 0730-1000.

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Tuesday, 19 December 2023

Overcast morning with drizzle gave way to a nice sunny day with the continuing moderate westerly. 

Slightly quieter day around the area but still some quality on offer with a Siberian Chiffchaff and 3 Chiffchaffs at the sewage works in Easington, 2 Little Gulls feeing over the fields with Black-headed Gulls and 15 Whooper Swans at Kilnsea wetlands. 

Duck numbers remained high in the ponds area 618 Wigeon, 166 Teal and 27 Shovelers the standout counts while over the sea 85 Teal and 2 Red-breasted Mergansers. 

Watches: 0730 - 1000

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Monday, 18 December 2023

A cloudy day with a F4 south westerly. 

Some noteable Wildfowl counts from around the area included 800 Brent Geese along with a Pale-bellied Brent and a hybrid Brant along with 20 Whooper Swans at Sammys, 741 Wigeon, 288 Teal, 28 Shovelers and 30 Mallard in the ponds area.

Also present were 2 Marsh Harriers, 2 Common Buzzards, a Barn Owl and a Short-eared Owl. 

Ringing: Watches: 0730 - 1000.

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