Birdwatch: Autumnal murk grounds lesser spotted migrants

The first wrynecks of the year were spotted at Spurn and Carr Naze.                      Picture: Michael Ashforth
The first wrynecks of the year were spotted at Spurn and Carr Naze. Picture: Michael Ashforth
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A COMBINATION of murky wet weather and north-easterly winds brought an early taste of autumn along the Yorkshire coast.

Both rare and common migrants from Scandinavia and Europe were grounded with the prospect of more arrivals as the week continued.

Last Friday saw a greenish warbler at Carr Naze, the 15th recorded in Filey, while a juvenile red-backed shrike arrived at Old Fall Hedge, Flamborough where it remained for two days.

The first wrynecks this year were seen at Spurn and Carr Naze, while one made it inland as far as Hull by Wednesday.

Icterine warblers were at South Gare, Cleveland, Scarborough, Filey, Flamborough Head and Spurn and barred warblers at Spurn and Grimston. There was also a sprinkling of more common migrants including pied and spotted flycatchers, wood, garden, sedge, reed and willow warblers, chiffchaffs, blackcaps, whinchats, yellow wagtails, redstarts, wheatears and one or two cuckoos.

Birds are on the move inland with birders reporting pied and spotted flycatchers in gardens well away from breeding sites, also family parties of blackcaps and siskins. A black redstart was seen in a hedge at Kimberworth Park, Rotherham.

The white-rumped sandpiper was again at Beacon Ponds and on the beach at Spurn, and most sites in the region reported a good selection of waders - green and common sandpipers and wood sandpipers. Sixteen spotted redshanks were at Blacktoft Sands.

Cory’s and balearic shearwaters and long-tailed, great and Arctic skuas were seen by sea watchers at Spurn and Flamborough.

After an absence of several days a black stork appeared on the Humber, flying over Sunk Island on Monday before apparently drifting back towards the Lincolnshire shore.

Spoonbills were at Spurn and Alkborough Flats and Far Ings, while a great white egret was seen again at Blacktoft Sands; others were at Old Moor and Wombwell Ings in South Yorkshire, roosting with up to 30 little egrets, and possibly the same bird at Fairburn and Swillington Ings, West Yorkshire.

A little bittern was at Old Moor while an adult night heron was spotted flying along the River Aire and over Swillington Ings on Tuesday.

An adult spotted crake continues to be seen from the First Hide at Blacktoft Sands. Bearded tits have also been coming out onto the muddy fringes at the edge of the reeds.

A female Montagu’s harrier is still being seen over the reserve, the male and youngster less frequently now as they spend more time hunting over the surrounding arable land. Soon they will all be leaving to spend the winter in Africa.

A honey buzzard and osprey were both reported over Scarborough while a honey buzzard was seen on Monday from the Wykeham raptor viewpoint. Ospreys were also seen over the Triangle and Humber at Spurn, Nosterfield Quarry, North Yorkshire and Fairburn Ings.