Monday, 10 October 2016

probable Stejneger's Stonechat at Donna Nook

Thursday 22nd September 2016
I had a day owing so I decided to join CJW in his trip to Devon to see the Lesser Grey Shrike on Mount Batten Point, near Plymouth. A part of the world we had never visited, and with blue sky and flat calm sea it made it an extremely picturesque location. We even managed to have a go at a photographer for getting too close to the LGS and flushing it. What more could you ask for.

We then visited Prawle Point where we eventually found a family party of Cirl Buntings following an hours search.

Female (ish) Cirl Bunting at Prawle Point
The following weekend was spent in Staffordshire where I finally managed to add an extremely elusive Pectoral Sandpiper to my Branston GP list having been on holiday for the last bird.

Saturday 8th October 2016
Following an extremely good week for the east coast, there was just enough birds still left for us to see. A full car containing PJ, PLo and myself headed off to Lincolnshire first and to Donna Nook. Our target was a probable Stejneger's Stonechat. It was a bit of a gamble for insurance purposes but the bird is a decent potential future split. And when it is split, then Johnny Comelately will be shooting off to see one. While we will just back and say "Not even a Lincolnshire tick". I did as much homework as I could for the site, and we even had directions from Dave Hursthouse who we met in the car park. We set off, following the directions as closely as we could and we still ended up stood on the beach waiting for the next seal to come along to help us. Then we spotted our saviour in the distance. He was walking quite purposefully straight towards us. We held our breath and asked him. "Sort of" he replied. "Its the semi-blind leading the blind" he said. 

But within a few moments we were watching quite a smart Stonechat sp, with a fabulous pinky rump and white throat. There was also a Whinchat present. 

A couple of video grabs you can study and say Hmm

Stejneger's Stonechat probably

Having had our fill, we set off on the 1+ mile plus walk back to the car park. And soon after our arrival, we were watching one, then two Pallas's Warblers showing extremely well. Autumn had arrived!

Pallas's Warbler at Donna Nook by PJ
Despite being only 11 miles across the water, we opted to use the roads instead and drive round to Spurn. There had been a bit of a clear out, but at our first stop in Easington we saw a Red-breasted Flycatcher and YBW, and straight afterwards fantastic views of an Olive-backed Pipit in the gas compound. A second YBW was in the Crown & Anchor and we then relaxed and enjoyed the sun. As with Norfolk last year, we were literally falling over Goldcrests. In fact, we managed to catch three ourselves with our bare hands, and they made a very tasty snack. 

videograb of OBP at Easington
Goldcrests at Kilnsea - so tasty! by PJ