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Stejneger’s Stonechat at Spurn Point

24 Oct

24/10/16 Been a good time for Siberian Stonechats in East Yorkshire recently with one in Grimston for two days early last week followed at the end of the week with one at Easington accompanying a popular Isabelline Wheatear. Therefore a third one just to the south at the tip of Spurn Point didn’t initially interest me. It was considered as possibly a Stejneger’s Stonechat but, like many I suspect, I’m not keeping up all these races. RL texted me worried about this Stonechat as it was considered a possible full species by some authorities [aren’t all?] But with only two reports by RBA on Sunday there didn’t seem too much interest. However on Monday morning I set off for Spurn Point with RL and ML. It hadn’t been reported by the time were arrived and there didn’t seem to be any real interest. This is the first time I’ve gone south of the Warren since the road was finally abandoned. In fact it’s the first time I’ve walked the Point since the 80’s. To be honest it isn’t too arduous for anyone with average fitness but it could be fun when a real twitch was on. There would be of hundreds of birders doing a mini marathon down the Point. A lot easier than Blakeney Point though! You do have to be aware of the tide though as the breach can get covered but we were ok with only a small tide today.


The breach along the road the Point

There is a special vehicle purchased by YWT for the purpose but today at least it was being used for tours of the Point including the lighthouse. We missed it on the way out anyway and it was full on the way back.


YWT’s Unimog

On the way down had good numbers of Robins and thrushes but nothing rarer. The Stonechat was finally reported when we were near the end of the walk.


“Dwarfed by the lighthouse so almost there”

While we were there we only met a couple of other birder but although mobile did show pretty well as like other chats it spend on lot of time perches on top of bushes. fullsizeoutput_1a27

Stejneger’s Stonechat at Spurn Point

fullsizeoutput_1a23A lot better than some of the other birds that have been reported ‘near the green beacon’. dscn3262I’m not going to comment too much on it identification but wasn’t as washed out as other Siberian Stonechats I’ve seen and had the orange underparts characteristic of the form.fullsizeoutput_122d

Siberian Stonechat at Flamborough Head-19/10/16

For more on this form check Birding frontiers and Birds Korea .


Tanker Hornisse [Hornet] entering the Humber on high tide.


Conservation grazing sheep flock

Had a lot of Goldcrest around the Point and on the walk back but missed a Firecrest in the Potato Field [I’ve bird Spurn c30 years and RL c40 and neither of us know where it is!?]. Also several Dark-bellied Brent Geese and loads of waders along the Humber shore.dscn3300

Dark-bellied Brent Geese on the Humber.


Local legend FXM with ML and RL.


7/1/17 DNA from “poo” sample confirmed as Stejneger’s Stonechat.

20/1/17 From 1/1/2018 Stejneger’s Stonechat will be treated as a full species with the BOU adopting the IOC World Bird List.