As work commitments kept us from seeing the Great Snipe on the East coast at Kilnsea over the weekend we set out this morning with fingers crossed, as initially negative news had been put out.
I have found 7 Great Snipe in Europe over the years but have dipped at least six in Britain, bearing that in mind I was very keen to add the species to my British list. Survey work out of the way we were on the road for 10.30am and around three hours later we arrived at the site. The next 3 hours were spent watching this wonderful bird. The Blue Bell Cafe provided us with half an hours relief from the increasing gusts of wind, along with an excellent light lunch in the company of an even rarer sight than the Great Snipe, Shropshire Birder Martin Ryder and his wife whom we have not seen out birding for a long time.
Gannet has eluded me so far this year so I decided to have an hour sea watching. For those of you who know me - yes it really was an hour - for those that don't know me, I hate sea watching and an hour is as much as I can take. However, the hour produced 3 Gannet, a single Arctic Skua and 20 Common Scoter, so was well worth my time. From here we moved on to the nearby Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Kilnsea Wetlands wader scrape. 2 Spotted Redshank, 4 Greenshank, 3 Ruff, 3 Little Egret and a couple of Little Stint to add to the days list.
A Red-backed Shrike had been showing well for a few days at Peter's Lane Easington, just a short drive away so we stopped for 10 minutes before heading back to Cheshire.
"Give me some room and I will show way better than this"
Red-backed Shrike - "honest"