Tuesday 7th September saw a juv Red-necked Phal' (274) arrive at Draycote Water in Warwickshire, so after work, I caned it down there and added it to the year list! A small swarm of 6 Black Terns (275) were also added (146 mile round trip!). Wednesday 8th September had been booked as an holiday off work due to promising weather conditions & in the anticipation that something a bit good would turn up. Early morning saw me at my least favourite local Derbyshire hot-spot, Ogston Reservoir, collecting Little Stint (276) for the year. A glance at the pager revealed the continued presence of an Ortolan Bunting at Spurn - tempting but with it's supporting cast already under my belt, I decided to hang on a little longer and see if anything else was discovered by the guys at Spurn or even Flamborough so I headed up on to Beeley Moor in search of another species that had eluded me this year so far. It was while eagerly scanning the moorland rocks and fence posts for my quarry that news of a Red-throated Pipit & Red Breasted Flycatcher had been located at Spurn. I gave the moors another 40 minutes and then decided to head up to Spurn. Minutes later, another message announced that the Pipit was in fact just a Tree Pipit but the Fly' & Bunting were still showing! I left Derbyshire and headed NE anyway but as I left Hull and started the last c20 mile, the pager declared that there was no further sign of the Flycatcher! Hmmm, two down, one to go, surely the Ortolan would still be present, it had been showing all morning in the same spot apparently! Arriving at Spurn at c3.15pm, I headed straight towards the narrows but at the Obs. I was informed by 'The Gatekeeper' that the Bunting had gone missing and hadn't been seen for a few hours!!!! I decided to take his advice and not hand over my three gold nuggets and instead parked up at the Canal and tried to dig out some migrants for myself - A lone Pied Flycatcher was the only bird I saw! Stood all alone with the wind gently nudging the grasses and bushes, a milky sunlight giving the area a strange sepia colour and no other humans within sight, one would perhaps think that it was a scene of magical bliss but on the contrary, it was confusingly eerie and depressing so I Headed to The Crown & Anchor area to find civilisation! Cliff Farm held two Spotted Flycatchers, 3 Redstarts, 3 Garden Warblers, a Whitethroat & a Blackcap! Thrilling stuff eh?!
With thoughts of home starting to insidiously slip into my mind, I made one last incongruous concerted effort to bag something good and decided to have a look around Sammy's Point in the vain hope of relocating the RBF. This area was a little better for migrants with c15 Redstarts, 10+ Spotted Flycatchers, Wheatears and Garden Warblers but alas no RBF (A further disappointment came in the form of a pager message as I arrived at Sammy's saying that a Barred Warbler was about to be released at Crown & Anchor car-park, the exact spot I had left some 5 minutes before!). Feeling pretty dejected and f*cked off, I headed home. As I hit the M62, I dropped 'Definitely Maybe' into the CD player and with just me in the motor, nothing to rush home for and needing to calm down, I took it steady for once! £40 worth of fuel down the bleedin' drain! The final kick in the balls tho' was to come when I got home, a cursory glance at the pager revealed a message stating that the Ortolan was still present around Post 47 at dusk..........the pager hit the wall...at pace!
Sammy's Point at dusk...so f*ckin' what!