Easington Like Sunday Morning

Photo: Northern-type Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus acredula), Kilnsea, East Yorkshire, Sunday 11th October 2015 (Photo: Tony Disley)

Saturday 10th October

Autumn migration is always an annual spectacle, with the East Coast perfectly placed for receiving migrating birds and the Spurn area is always a favourite with both birds and birders

I have had many amazing experiences on the Yorkshire coast, Asian Desert Warbler and Blackpoll Warbler at Flamborough Head and Pied Wheatear, Booted Warbler, Great Snipe and Subalpine Warbler on Spurn spring to mind

Arriving in Easington early doors, the Mega Squad began birding along Vicars Lane, and within an hour or so, we had found Firecrest and Yellow-browed Warbler

At Spurn, Ring Ouzel and Stonechat were seen at The Warren, but we couldn’t find the Little Bunting

In the Sammys Point area, a Richard’s Pipit worked the margins of a field, a Short-eared Owl hunted, 6 Mediterranean Gulls were located in the gull flock, a Kingfisher flew along the shoreline and a Merlin dashed through putting up the Golden Plover flock

It soon became apparent speaking to other birders that this flock contained an American Golden Plover and then news came through that the Yankee had been relocated on the Kilnsea Wetlands

Visiting this very impressive nature reserve for the first time was a revelation and was even more so watching a juvenile American Golden Plover, a superb vagrant from the Nearctic

After a few minutes the bird flew off, but just as we were about to leave the site, the bird returned, incredibly, with another juvenile American Golden Plover and we spent several minutes checking and re-checking the birds to make sure we weren’t seeing double

We settled into one of the hides to enjoy both AGPs and all the waders on-site that also included 3 Greenshank and a Spotted Redshank

Sunday 11th October

An early morning walk along Vicars Lane and it became obvious that more birds were arriving all the time with the hedges, trees and bushes alive with Goldcrests, and Redwings and Bramblings arriving overhead; the best bird of the early session was a smart albetinus-type Chiffchaff

After breakfast we started to work the lane between Easington village and Sammys Point enjoying some classic farmland birds such as Corn Bunting and Yellowhammer and a big flock of Tree Sparrows, whilst a Woodcock flew up from the hedgerow and flew towards Sammys Point

With Goldcrests flitting around and easterly wind in the air, we were getting a good feeling about our prospects of finding a rare bird and this was to prove correct as I picked up a small warbler in the willows at Willow Farm, and a team effort identified the bird as a Pallas’s Warbler, a green and yellow striped Eastern gem

The news was put out and within minutes a big crowd gathered, although the bird remained elusive and many people didn’t see it

We spent some time trying to relocate the bird for the assembled crowd, but eventually decided to go and have a relaxing afternoon in Kilnsea where the ultimate chilled birding experience can be enjoyed in the Beer Garden of the Crown and Anchor pub

This area has a Garden of Eden feel and is a Warbler watchers paradise, Goldcrests were buzzing around in big numbers, a Firecrest showed, and perhaps the bird of the trip was a Northern “type” Willow Warbler, a classy looking, very distinctive, striking bird (see photo courtesy of Tony Disley)

We completed the trip in the fields of Easington with mega views of Roe Deer and a juvenile American Golden Plover

A superb trip to a beautiful area of the coast and with prolonged easterly winds forecast the Mega Squad could be in the field again very soon!

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