Spurn Bird Observatory Sightings 2023

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Summary of latest sightings

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Tuesday, 05 December 2023

A cloudy wet day with a cool F4 north easterly saw for some movement over the sea noteably a late Cory's Shearwater heading south which if accpeted would be the latest Spurn record. The morning also brought 5 Eiders, 33 Common Scoters, 83 Kittiwakes, 2 Great Skuas, a Little Auk, 19 Red-throated Divers, single Fulmar and 8 Gannets. 

On land a Pale-bellied Brent was again with the Brent flock on the wetlands with 16 Whooper Swans nearby at Sammys, a Chiffchaff at the sewage works, 3 Mealy Redpoll and a Lesser Redpoll around Kilnsea and a Snow Bunting

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Monday, 04 December 2023

A cloudy, misty wet and misearble day with a moderate south easterly were not the best conditions for the monthly WeBS count but counts were returned for 303 Brent Geese, 16 Whooper Swans, 38 Mute Swans, 180 Shelducks, 19 Shovelers, 8 Gadwall, 561 Wigeon, 48 Mallard, 176 Teal, a Long-tailed Duck on Kilnsea Wetlands, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 11 Little Grebes, 915 Oystercatchers, 168 Lapwings, 215 Golden Plovers, 123 Grey Plovers, 165 Curlew, 392 Black-tailed Godwits, 1412 Knot, 1284 Dunlin, a Mediterranean Gull and 2 Little Egrets. 

Grounded birds saw 4 Woodcocks, a Blackcap, 7 Goldcrests, a Redwing, 2 Fieldfare and 3 Stonechats seen around the area.


Ringing: None.  

Watches: 07:15 - 10:00

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Sunday, 03 December 2023

After another cold frosty night the day a cloudy milder day followed with a moderate northerly wind. Apart from 10 Barnacle Geese which dropped onto Kilnsea wetlands there was little change from the previous day with the Black Brant, a Pale-bellied Brent and 370 Brent Geese including the leucistic bird again on Easington straight while good numbers of Wildfowl in the ponds area included 500 Wigeon, 15 Shovelers, 6 Gadwall and 120 Teal. 

Other bits of note saw both Little Owl and Short-eared Owl recorded, a Great Spotted Woodpecker at the Obs and a Stonechat on the wetlands. 

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Saturday, 02 December 2023

A freezing, foggy start to the day with low visibility until late morning when the fog lifted. The first winter work party was well attended but as a result there were fewer observers in the field.

Despite that, Two Pale-bellied Brent Geese were amongst 480 Dark-bellied Brent Geese on Easington Straight, along with 40 Pink-footed Geese, 16 Whooper Swans and 20 Mute Swan. Eight Snipe and two Jack Snipe dropped into Walker Butts and a Woodcock was in Corner Field. There were two Blackcaps in Kilnsea, and three Snow Buntings at Borrow Pit.

Ringing: none

Watch times: 07:15-09:30

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Friday, 01 December 2023

Another cold day, with a force 3-4 north westerly wind brining in wintery showers, but some sunny spells in between.

A Great Northern Diver went north on the mornings sea watch, along with 7 Eider, 31 Common Gull and 37 Red-throated Diver.

Amongst the large Dark-bellied Brent Goose flock going between Easington Straight and Beacon Ponds/Kilnsea Wetlands, were 2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, the adult Black Brant and the Brant Hybrid.

Other numbers of wildfowl remain steady, with 459 Wigeon, 110 Teal, 10 Whooper Swan, 17 Mute Swan and 111 Greylag similar to the numbers recorded all week. There was a Short-eared Owl from Kilnsea Wetlands and a Marsh Harrier blogging around the area.

Ringing: Blackbird 2, Common Redpoll 2. 4/2.

Watch times: 07:15 - 10:00

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Thursday, 30 November 2023

Another cold day in Kilnsea and Easington, with some wintery showers throughout the day but some sunny spell. The wind was from the north west and force 4.

A steady morning over the sea, with only 14 Common Scoter, 39 Common Gull, 29 Black-headed Gull, 13 Red-throated Diver and one Great Northern Diver logged moving north.

A female Long-tailed Duck was on the Humber off of Chalky Point, two Pale-bellied Brent Geese and a Black Brant hybrid were with the Dark-bellied Brent Geese flock between Sammys Point and the Wetlands. The flock of 10 Whooper Swans which include the two dark-billed individuals were also along Easington Straight.

Also at Sammys Point were four Woodcock, a female Merlin and 70 Pintail on the Humber.

A Mealy Redpoll was trapped and ringed in Church Field. 

There was no sign of the Barred Warbler in Easington today, nor the Black Brant.


Ringing: House Sparrow 1, Blue Tit 1, Song Thrush 1, Common Redpoll 1. 4/4. Watches - 07:15 - 10:00

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Wednesday, 29 November 2023

A cold and frosty day, with a thin layer of ice on sheltered water bodies all day, but bright and sunny all day in a cold north westerly force 3 wind.

One Little Auk north and one Velvet Scoter south were the best of a quiet seawatch this morning.

The returning Black Brant was on the Humber for the first time this autumn, but was mobile, seen flying west up the Humber and later it was on Kilnsea Wetlands with a small flock of Dark-bellied Brents.

A group of 16 Waxwings dropped in at Rose Cottage very briefly, before flying towards the southern end of the Triangle and not seen again. The Barred Warbler put in another brief appearance in an Easington garden on the High Street. There was a Snow Bunting south of Easington Boat Yard and another (or the same) flew west along Seaside Road. A covey of 9 Grey Partridge on Easington Straight were the first for a while.

Ringing: Woodcock 1, Reed Bunting 4, Blackbird 3.       8/3.

Watches: 07:15 - 10:00

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Tuesday, 28 November 2023

A nice bright & sunny day, with a cool north westerly force 3 wind for most of the day.

The surprise of the day came in Easington where a Barred Warbler was seen in the Ivy of a residents garden. Not the latest record of this species as there is a December record from 2001 (2nd).

Six Waxwing were in the Dell at the south of the Canal, a Blackcap was at Hill Rise and a four Chiffchaff were across the recording area.

There was very little moving over sea. 34 Common Scoter south, 42 Teal, 67 Common Gull and 10 Red-throated Diver went north, with 19 Starling seen coming in-off the sea.

Ringing: Blackbird 9, Wren 1.... 10/2.

Watches: 0700 - 1000.


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Monday, 27 November 2023

 A wet, dark and cold day meant there were only a handful of observers out in the field.

Three drake Velvet Scoter went south, the best over the sea.

50 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 100 Greylag Geese and 15 Mute Swan were on or around the Wetlands, along with 400 Wigeon, 100 Teal and a Greenshank. 

There was no ringing due to the rain. Watches - 07:00 - 10:00

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Sunday, 26 November 2023

A cold but calm day, with a force 2 south westerly wind and cloud all day.

The sea was quiet but had a variety of species on the move, with a Red-necked Grebe north passed the Gas Terminal, seven Great Crested Grebe south passed the Seawatching Hide (and one north), four Little Auks, 36 Red-throated Diver and five Gannet went north, with 122 Common Scoter, one Velvet Scoter, one Goldeneye and four Goosander moving south. A Great Northern Diver came in over the Seawatching Hide and continued south over the Humber.

11 Waxwing were on Seaside Road in Easington, last seen flying into The Pines caravan site. There was an expected increase in Woodcock numbers with 11 seen across the area, and a Jack Snipe in the Triangle.


Ringing: Woodcock 1, House Sparrow 4, Blackbird 8, Robin 1, Chaffinch 1.     15/5.      

Watches: 07:00 - 10:45 & 12:30 - 15:00

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Saturday, 25 November 2023

A bright start with some cloud most of the day, with a cold north westerly force 5 wind that produced a better seawatch than of late.

Nine Little Auk flew north throughout the day, with one Great Northern Diver, 29 Common Gull, 20 Herring Gull, 12 Red-throated Diver, seven Gannet and a Great-crested Grebe all following. 188 Common Scoter, 10 Kittiwake and an Arctic Skua went in the opposite direction.

250 Dark-bellied Brent Geese were around the wetlands, again including 'Lucy'. A Blackcap was caught and ringed at Kew, and a flock of c.30 Waxwing were on Vicars Lane in Easington before flying off north at lunch time, with one in Kilnsea in the morning. The long staying lone Whooper Swan finally departed, flying off south!


Ringing: Blackcap 1, Blackbird 7, House Sparrow 2, Tree Sparrow 2, Dunnock 1, Greenfinch 1, Goldfinch 2. 16/7. Watches: 07:00-13:50

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Friday, 24 November 2023

Another windy day with gusts of force 7 from the north west. 

5 Long-tailed Duck south on the seawatch was the highlight, two birds went through at 09:30 followed by three at 09:52, but overall a slight increase in numbers compared to recent days was a disappointment. 25 Gannet, 41 Red-throated Diver, 30 Auk sp., 120 Herring Gull and 260 Common Gull went south, and one Sooty Shearwater went north.

80 Whooper Swans roosted on Kilnsea Wetlands, with 250 Dark-bellied Brent Geese (including 'Lucy') and 70 Greylag Geese. A ringtail Hen Harrier was still blogging around the Wetlands, and four Brambling (two Sykes Field and two on Seaside Road).

It was too windy for any ringing again. Watches: 07:15 - 11:15 & 12:30 - 14:00.

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Thursday, 23 November 2023

A brisk force 5 Westerly made life hard and very little over the sea or grounded, and no ringing.

At sea, 253 Common Scoter went south, and 49 Common Gull moved the same way, with 150 of the latter on the sea of the Old Boat Yard in Easington.

A female Snow Bunting just north of Terminal Wood, was the best bird of the day. One Coal Tit still visiting a private garden in Easington, and the lonely Whooper Swan stayed on Kilnsea Wetlands for another day, not joining yesterdays flock which had departed.


Ringing: Nil. Watches: 0700 - 1120.


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Wednesday, 22 November 2023

It was a better day for passage as the wind went to the south west. Cloudy all day with the occasional sunny spell.

77 Pink-footed Geese headed north west up the Humber with a flock of 25 watched coming in from over the sea from The Warren. A male Long-tailed Duck went north passed the Sea Watching hide, and not long afterwards a female went south close in. A drake Goldeneye was drifting south on the sea and a flock of six Tufted Duck went south also.

A small number of birds were seen coming in off the sea, with three Woodcock watched from distance powering in over the waves and diving for the nearest bit of cover as soon as they cleared the cliff! Seven Starling, a Blackbird and a Skylark were seen coming in over the waves.

A late Sandwich Tern came in from the east at the Gas Terminal and landed on the sea after attempting to land on a Crab Pot. Not the latest record, but not far off.

Notable grounded birds included 64 Whooper Swans at roost on the Wetlands, a ringtail Hen Harrier still blogging around the area, and the Kingfisher still around Easington Playing Fields / Sewage Works.

Ringing: Blackbird 4, Lesser Redpoll 1. 5/2

Watches: 07:00 - 10:00 & 12:40 - 15:20

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Tuesday, 21 November 2023

A change in the wind to a force 5 north easterly didn't bring much change to the seawatch, but 68 Kittiwakes moving south were the first for a few days, and a few more Common Scoter moving than in recent days (107 south, 174 north).

A Great Northern Diver off of the Old Boat Yard was new, and the Pale-bellied Brent Goose was seen again at Sammy's Point. Pintail numbers are growing on the Humber, with upto 120 off of Sammy's Point today, and the first Kingfisher since September was aroung the playing fields in Easington.

Ringing: Woodcock 1, Blackbird 6, Redwing 1, Lesser Redpoll 2.     10/4.    

Watches: 07:00 - 10:00

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