11th September 2017

September 13, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Return to Ravenspurn

September 11th

Digression: Two English kings landed at Ravenspurn: Henry IV in 1399, on his way to dethrone Richard II, and Edward IV in 1471, on his way back from exile. The port of Ravenspurn was somewhere south-east of Kilnsea and the last remnants of Ravenspurn finally succumbed to the waves in the nineteenth century.

Workmen we were expecting failed to turn up for the third day running. To try to rescue a wasted day Sheila suggested we could still go to Spurn even if we didn't set off till late morning. So we went and it was 1.15 by the time we were putting on our coats in the windy car park at Kilnsea Wetlands. A long-billed dowitcher had waited for us, we hoped.

'It's gone,' we were told by a rather well-dressed and abrupt young man. Sheila suggested we walk on to the Beacon Ponds bank. Whilst we walked the pager confirmed it was indeed still present and to cut the story short we saw it distantly roosting on a spit out of view from the hide. Eventually it moved about a bit and showed its bill. A good year tick and it made our day seem worthwhile after the frustrations at home. The abrupt young man arrived after a few moments and stood silently by, a mouthful of humble pie stuck in his throat! Two birders I often meet [it's time I knew your name, please!] told me about the wryneck. We drove to the Blue Bell for a comfort break and then walked up Beacon Lane. Sheila spotted this common darter. A group of birders were spotted at the northern tip of Sandy Beaches caravan park. We hurried over. The rest is below...

Only a few times each year do I have unforgettable birding encounters - this year I would include the white-billed diver in Lincolnshire on the River Witham, the ptarmigan at Applecross and I think this wryneck deserves its place in the same group. 

Subtitled: "Don't go sticking your tongue out at me, mate!!"

At first sight it might be a piece of dried up vegetation...


I think that's enough, don't you?

254 UK 2017


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