Bad bird-blogger, I haven't updated for over a month. To keep it brief mid-October we had our first big trip to Spurn. Not a classic day despite a favourable easterly from the sea, a netted Radde's Warbler released as the Anchor pub car park made for a very cheap life tick (not sure it really counts for that matter), and I chalked of another long-term bogey with a Jack Snipe skulking around the pond at Canal Scrape or whatever it's called. Black-tailed Godwit, loads of winter Thrushes, a Merlin and smattering other nice birds made it all enjoyable enough. Only bummer was another from the nets - a Red-flanked Bluetail - missed the release for that one and then the bird refused to pop out of the bush it dived into. Invairably whichever side we chose to look from the bugger would briefly show from the other. Grah!
For a first experience of Spurn in autumn it was all right, and we'll return next year. The spectacle of dozens of birders and the near-miss car accidents when a report of a mega goes out is something altogether different to local patching.
More recently we dipped on a Cetti's Warbler at Potteric Carr (might it winter there?). We picked a day when it chose to keep schtum, the regulars told me the bird has days like that and then others when puts on a real performance. Ah well, loads of Cetti's around the region at the moment, we'll pick one up sooner or later. Superb views of Bittern (video above) made up for any disappointment and I'll agree that Potteric Carr is quickly becoming the best place in the region, some dare even say the country, to see the species. One bird resident, with five expected as winter takes hold.
Slightly annoyed by some photographers camped in the hide near the Field Centre, the one with the feeders right infront. Giggling and saying 'poor thing' each time you scare off a GS Woodpecker with an assault of loud photo shutters, and would you believe a flashgun, isn't really on. Hardly what they call fieldcraft is it?
Otherwise hugely impressed by the new hides, lots and lots of new hides, overlooking the lagoons where all the Golden Plover hang out. It was always a big nature reserve and now you can access the whole thing, brilliant.
Finally, had a day RSPBing at Carsington yesterday. More schoolkids, more exclamations of 'wicked' after first views of Lapwings through a telescope. Bird of the day was a rusty Garganey that looks more like a juv male than a female. Frustrating to lose the bird when a low-flying Spitfire put up probably every bird on the reservior. Later it was refound at the other end of the water, with a Great Northern Diver, yes - they're back, or at least one so far. Now if we're really talking about the best place in the country to see a particularly scarce bird, Carsi genuinely rates for its GNDs.
The Carsington Kingfishers continue to put on good shows...
Last word, Lesser Redpoll in the garden, thats species #41 since January.