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Spurn Point, Pirates, Migrants and Remnants


Towlersonsafari

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Towlersonsafari

Hopefully this may be of mild interest to a few, a brief report on a trip we made to Spurn Point for a long weekend over the August Bank Holiday,  a to a place we did not know much about, but one I had always wanted to revisit after popping in for a day many years ago.It was a Christmas present from Jane, and the first planned break of 2020 that we did not have to postpone.

Spurn Point is a narrow spit of land reaching out into the Humber Estuary, at places no more that 50 metres wide with a reputation for migrants in Spring and Autumn , and a lot of history.We also manaed to visit Bempton Cliffs ( about an hours drive away) that @TonyQspoke about earlier this year, so I will not mention that save to post a few photo's of Gannets. After a wild start, we did have lovely weather

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Towlersonsafari

Spurn Point is formed from the deposits of the material eroded from the coastal erosion of the East Yorkshire coast, the fastest eroding coast in the UK, and is growing at about 30cm a year. It was the landing place of Henry Bolingbrooke-on his way to becoming Henry IV (parts 1 and 2) and later Edward  IV on his way to reclaim his throne and ive Warwick the kingmaker and his new Lancastrian friends a good biffing, only for that really rubbish king Richard III to mess it all up!

Ravenspur odd, also at Spurn Point, , was also the haunt of pirates who got up to a lot of naughty things

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Men in small boats would row out to the incoming ships and entice them to land, often with fear of force, in an act known as ‘forestalling’.

Here is a link to more of their antics-https://www.historyanswers.co.uk/medieval-renaissance/ravenser-odd-a-medieval-pirate-town-that-was-swallowed-by-the-sea/

apaprently they also raided Grimsby, a lot.but as a local Abbott recorded,

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In January 1362 a poetic finale came on the winds as a ferocious storm and unusually high tides unleashed the Great Drowning. The men and women of Ravenser Odd were scattered to the ports they had once plagued, and all that remained of this prosperous – and unprincipled – borough were a warning to sailors of submerged walls that might tear at their keel.

Burton recalled:

With all inferior places, and chiefly by wrong-doing on the sea, by its wicked works and piracies, it provoketh the wrath of God against itself by all measure. […] the said town, by those inundations of the sea and of the Humber, was destroyed to the foundations so that nothing of value was left.

What is left are 2 lighthouses, and wonderul WW11 remains

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Towlersonsafari

We vsisted on 2 days, and also walked round a local nature reserve, kilnsea Wetlands. the first rather wild wet and windy day we had booked a Covid secure trip on the Unimog, partly because we like the word "Unimog" and partly to give us some clues about the layout .it also included a trip to the Victorian lighthouse. The road and part of the point nearest the "mainland" was washed away in a storm in 2013 and ta High tide is impassable.It was the guide on the Unimog who spoke about Spurn points role in both wars.In fact it was not until  German warships shelled Scarborough Whitby and Hartlepool in December 1914, killing 137 civillians, and the outrage that caused ( both against the dastardly germansd and the laggardly Royal Navy  that Spurn point was occupied by the military.

At kilnsea there is a sound mirror, built in 1916, that was part of a chain that were designed to foccus sound into a microphone in an effort to detect slow moving zeppelines on their way to bomb hull

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wilddog

intriguing....

 

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Towlersonsafari

In ww11 there was a real fear that the Humber Esturay would be used as an alternative Invasion point. barracks for about 1000 men were erected, and the remains are still visible, as are the remains of anti-aircraft and navel guns, searchlights etc in various stages of decay.the walk from the visitor centre ( and vital tea and cake, is about 3.5 miles so the round trip is 7, with a lot more meandering amongst the coast and ruins. it is a fascinating palce to visit. There are several marked trails, a Natual History, military history and maritine History trail. We did not see lizards but did see several Roe deer,a fox, spoonbills, redstarts whetears. ringed plovers, Black tailed godwits, curlew, Sanderling,Dunlin etc and recent visitors, according to the Spurn point Observatory website, included barred and Icterine warblers

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Towlersonsafari

And finally, the highlight, a very confiding Wryneck, a bird I had never seen before, and one of 3 in the area

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Towlersonsafari

And even more finally, a few Gannets!

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TonyQ

Lovely photos of a very interesting place. Good to see the Gannets as well!

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Towlersonsafari

Ta @TonyQI would claim that the gannets were birds in flight shots but they were more birds hanging in the air against a very strong wind shots!

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offshorebirder

I hope to see a Wryneck some day - 3 in the area sounds amazing.   Is it that way each year?

 

Interesting vehicle @Towlersonsafari- some sort of bog buggy?   Or I should say moor buggy for Yorkshire?

 

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shazdwn

Great gannet shots, sounds like an interesting spot

 

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Soukous

Thanks for the report @TowlersonsafariI've never been there since I became interested in birds so maybe a return visit is overdue.

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Towlersonsafari

thanks everyone, I think, from looking at the reports 3 was very unusual @offshorebirderbut certainly in spring and Autumn- if you can call late august autumn, there is a good chance of Wryneck. there were certainly enough birders to look for them! I could pretend that we skilfully tracked the Wryneck down but the truth is that ( and folk of a certain age will know the feeling) i needed the loo and the nearest place was the spurn point visitor centre-the Wryneck was right outside oblivious to the birders watching it-which means that my photo's were even worse as I had enough time! the other keen birder activity that we did not do was sea watching-but this was something that a lot of folk were doing

( I don't have the patience , or skill). the other bird I was keen to see, but failed, was  a Red backed shrike that was also there-I last  saw one of those in England at least 30 years ago.

the unimog, ironically bearing in mind the WW11 defences, is a German made utility 4 Wd vehicle!

 

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