During the week we spent a day birdwatching at Spurn Point in Yorkshire. I am one of 6 finalists at the Martin Garner Young Spurn Birder of the Year competition at the MigFest in September so I thought it would be a good idea to go and see what types of bird I might be asked to identify. We walked down onto the mud flats to see the waders. There were quite a few different species including grey and golden plover, redshank, knot and dunlin. Lots of yellow wagtails flew over and we saw loads during the time we were at the reserve, and they were a new species for me. We also had lots of sightings of sandwich terns which were also a new species for me.
We visited Kilnsea Wetlands which was nearby and saw a couple of new species including curlew sandpiper and Mediterranean gull. There was a greenshank probing about in the water which was the first of the year. We had a look for some little terns but apparently none had been seen. We also saw a yellow-legged gull. We heard that a red-backed shrike had been visible in a hide near the visitor centre so we went to see it. There were swallows nesting in the hide and they were feeding really young chicks. We had amazing views of the shrike which was a really smart male. It was flying around frequently, probably catching dragonflies. Shrikes have the unusual habit of impaling their pray on thorn bushes, effectively creating a larder.
In the evening we walked along a beach to see waders. We had good views of the waders and we saw dunlin, ringed plover and turnstone. The dunlin were really smart with their dark black fronts.