Spurn Birds

We’ve been talking about going over to Spurn Head for a while. It’s on the East Coast and is a spit of land that reaches across the mouth of the River Humber where it flows into the North Sea. It stretches for 5 km in total and is a naturally occurring extension of the coast created by a process called longshore drift. Not only is it wild and beautiful, it is also a fabulous place for seeing migrating birds. They stop off there for a rest before heading over the sea to mainland Europe.

Godwit taken at Kilnsea Reserve in East Yorkshire

We visited last week and were not disappointed. It provided a welcome distraction from the Moth Catastrophe. It is seven years since we were there last there and we drove down almost to the end that time. Since then, in December 2013 a large tidal surge washed over the thinnest part of the peninsula and removed a stretch of road. Spurn Point itself has now become a tidal island, in that at the highest tides, it is completely cut off from the rest of the land.

Wood Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper

We visited Kilnsea reserve first. In the hide, there was an astonishing amount of high tech optics in the form of scopes and cameras. This wasn’t surprising seeing the numbers of visitors to the lake there. There was a great deal of fuss being made about a Pectoral Sandpiper that had recently been seen there. We were happy with the Godwits, Knot, Common Sandpiper, Shell duck, a snoozing spoon bill, and dunlins. In the Canal Scrape hide we watched a lovely Wood Sandpiper wander along in front of us, followed by a couple of redshanks.

Turnstone, turning stones.
Turnstone doing what it does

Walking along the spit we were delighted to see some turnstones – doing what they do, turn over stones looking for something yummy. It was a great day and we will definitely be going back in the near future.

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