Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Masked Shrike at Spurn

As readers of my mutterings here will know I don't twitch over two hours so with the cracking find at Spurn last week of a Masked Shrike I've been hoping it stuck around knowing I would be in Yorkshire for a conference on 29th. I travelled up yesterday morning in the fog hoping that would have kept the bird down over night and on arrival at the car park I was informed the bird was indeed still present. A short walk up the lane opposite and a small gathering soon put me onto this little Shrike vagrant as it hunted along the hedge line at the rear of the fields. I took a record shot and watched the bird feed for a while before setting off up the road for Canal Scrape where I found eight Snipe feeding before eventually locating a Jack Snipe hidden in the short grassy bank. The bird was hidden as it roosted but as soon as it started bobbing it gave itself up.

Masked Shrike (small white patch centre of photograph.....honest!)
Jack Snipe
Jack Snipe
Common Snipe
Common Snipe
Next I took a drive back up Easington Road hoping for a little inspiration in my search for Common Rosefinch and at the end of the road I noticed three birders scoping a field. As I approached to ask if they had anything the man (with his wife and son) said he thought he might have a Richard's Pipit and sure enough once in the scope I could concur and we put the news out of his find to the delight of the other birders on Spurn who soon gathered to see the bird.

My search then took me back up to the car park where another wander up the small lane opposite gave me brief views of the Common Rosefinch before it flew off in the company of several Greenfinch. Time for another half an hour with the Shrike before heading off to my meeting.

This was my first trip to Spurn (being well outside my two hour rule) but if ever I'm back in Yorkshire I'll be sure to pay another visit as this one gave me a lifer and four year ticks. The only disappointment was that I arrived just after a Little Bunting had been ringed and released.

Year list now 254
Life list now 347

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