Tuesday, 21 October 2014

October 2014 - Ferreting around after year ticks

If you want to read about the rare birds on Shetland this autumn then this ain't the blog for you. If you want to read a blog about a tickless Autumn with only year ticks to show then read on.

First of all, there was a STEPPE GREY SHRIKE in Norfolk that was proving to be quite popular. CJW and GAS had already seen in during the week, and as it was six years since the Lincolnshire bird, I thought it was about time to see another one. You can always have a decent days birding in Norfolk this time of the year, but unfortunately the proposed trip didn't go ahead.

Here is CJW's excellent video of the Shrike.

A quick trip after work saw my second Common Crane at Blithfield. The bird hung around for three days.

Then, the following week, another decent Shrike sp. turned up in Norfolk and East Yorks - this time an ISABELLINE SHRIKE. It's even longer since I've seen one of these, way back in 2006. The one on Spurn wasn't as reliable as the Norfolk one, and so I headed down to Norfolk.

I arrived at Warham Greens and there had been still no reports of it. There were plenty of birders around though, enjoying the delights of Autumn in North Norfolk. Flocks of finches were flying in off the sea, and there were Goldcrests and Redwings in most bushes. A shout went up and we were soon watching a Rough-legged Buzzard flying over the saltmarsh. I headed off to Cley - I could have always popped back if the ISABELLINE SHRIKE was refound - and saw the very showy Grey Phalarope from the beach car park. 

Next stop was at Holkham where I enjoyed walking along the track with a small group of birders, chatting away as if we'd known each other for hours, and not only just met each other. In the end I managed three Yellow-browed Warblers. It was nice to meet up with a @NGBirder and his dad from Market Harboro. Very keen to learn and not just interested in when the next giga turns up and where the next charter flight leaves from. Young Jake even stood there and asked what a YBW sounded like. Happy to oblige I played the call on my phone. Quite a few other birders turned round immediately.....oh the joys of having bird calls on your phone.

Last stop of the day was at Titchwell. The place was heaving with small groups of OAP's who liked to stand around on the paths and chat. I managed my fourth Yellow-browed Warbler of the day here.

 A few photo's from Titchwell