Monday, 6 October 2014

Spurn and Beacon Lagoons

We visited Spurn Head and Kilnsea's Beacon ponds with the Hull Natural History Society today, a sunny, mild day with a very light breeze. After a short stop by the Crown and Anchor car par and walked around the church, enlivened by a Chiffchaff singing and Tree Sparrows, we joined the main party by the Blue Bell and walked north by Beacon Lane. In that area, thanks to the expert cricketers Andy and Rob, we found the highlight of the trip, two crickets new for me. First was Roesel's bush-cricket (Metrioptera roeselii), with several calling males and a female; I was mostly unable to hear the male's calls, and as you can imagine, I didn't find any myself. The only one I could hear - sometimes - was one which allowed close approximation (watch a short clip of the male singing here). The second cricket species was the Short-winged Conehead (Conocephalus dorsalis)(photo above, note the extremely long antennae!), of which we saw two females.  
A female Roesel's Bush Cricket on a fence
Male Roesel's Bush Cricket singing
A group of Meadow Pipits were having a bath on a pond and a pair of Stonechats hunted from the hedge. On the Beacon Lagoons, a flock of Brent Geese, Mallards, Wigeon and Teal, and a lone Great Crested Grebe. A Curlew fed by the beach.
After checking for woodlice and other critters under a log, Rob spotted a Common Lizard, which scurried into the grass before I could take a photo.
We quickly cut across to the estuary side as we had got separated from the leading group. In the mudflats, a large flock of Golden Plover, also Knot, Redshank, Dunlin, Curlew and a Little Egret. After a quick lunch and we carried on south. Under a large log we found two Woodlouse spiders and a large centipede. No luck for Sara with the local woodlouse she was trying to find though.
 We failed to see any rare bird migrants, although the four Jays flying over the Blue Bell was very nice. There was a passage of Skylarks and Linnets, a pair of Stonechats near Beacon Ponds and two Wheatears.
 Despite the mild weather, not many butterflies on the wing, a Wall Brown was seen and two tattered Painted Ladies.
We had a spot of sea watching and saw Little Gulls, Terns and a young Gannet.
One of four Jays passing over
Eristalis pertinax
Willow Warbler
some of the Brent Geese in Beacon Lagoon
Watching waders on the mudflats.
Flock of knot and Golden plover flushed by a bait digger
A busy group of seawatchers by the Blue Bell car park.
The sign to Beacon Lagoons
Short Winged Conehead female
A view of Beacon Lagoon
Eristalinus aeneus on Sea Aster (identified by Rob Jaques).
Eristalinus aeneus
Tibellus sp. spider
Female Lesser Marsh Grasshopper (Chorthippus albomarginatus).
Dysdera crocata, the Woodlouse spider
Painted Lady, the less faded individual we saw, stretching up to catch the sun
Bird List
  1. Black-headed Gull
  2. Blackbird
  3. Blue Tit
  4. Brent Goose
  5. Brent Goose
  6. Carrion Crow
  7. Chiffchaff
  8. Collared Dove
  9. Common Gull
  10. Cormorant
  11. Curlew
  12. Dunlin
  13. Dunnock
  14. Gannet
  15. Golden Plover
  16. Goldfinch
  17. Great Crested Grebe
  18. Great Tit
  19. Greenfinch
  20. Grey Heron
  21. Herring Gull
  22. House Sparrow
  23. Jackdaw
  24. Jay
  25. Knot
  26. Linnet
  27. Little Egret
  28. Little Gull
  29. Magpie
  30. Mallard
  31. Meadow Pipit
  32. Mute Swan
  33. Oystercatcher
  34. Pied Wagtail
  35. Redshank
  36. Reed Bunting
  37. Ringed Plover
  38. Robin
  39. Shelduck
  40. Skylark
  41. Starling
  42. Stonechat
  43. Swallow
  44. Teal
  45. Tree Sparrow
  46. Wheatear
  47. Wigeon
  48. Willow Warbler
  49. Woodpigeon
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