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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Thousands of Goldcrests, Pallas's Warbler & More!

I won't confess what time I ended up going to bed this morning! The Blog is very hard work when there are so many birds around and so much to write. Pictures to edit and still loads more to do. This resulted in me not getting out birding until after lunch, which in these rarity finding conditions is not ideal at all.

I decided to spend the afternoon at Wells Woods again, to try and nail Ashley Saunders's Blyth's Reed Warbler on my camera. On route I phoned (hands free) Holme NWT to see if they had anything exciting and the lady I spoke to said there wasn't (words to that effect), but a man had told them he had had an Olive-backed Pipit briefly at Titchwell RSPB yesterday – I hope he reported it to Warden and staff there.

As soon as I arrived in the car park I had a lovely surprise – Chris Knights was also on route to see the Blyth's Reed Warbler and you call me a twitcher Chris! x Walked to the dell area with Jim Swalwell and Chris wasn't far behind. No one had heard the 'tack' call for a good while. I searched every bush it was in yesterday and went back to the original place where Ashley found it, no sign. A bit later on Ashley turned up to look for his bird again and his perseverance paid off later. Bumped into Robert Smith and Phil amongst others. Robert corrected my words on blog yesterday and said he didn't get that wet out on East Hills!!! LOL!

I left to search for birds – I had had enough of listening for a 'tack'! Dripping in Goldcrests on every tree, every branch and bush. Its a long time since I have seen this many Goldcrests, incredible! Also several Chiffchaffs seen and as Ashley remarked earlier, he didn't see any in here yesterday. Lots of Robins too and I had lovely views of a Treecreeper. I headed towards the drinking pool, but changed direction and carried on the main path west towards another clearing, where a birder said there was a Firecrest and a Yellow-browed Warbler – not when I got there! Two other birders joined me to search for them, but no sign. I then headed north through the woods in hope of finding a bluetail or a Pallas's Warbler maybe! It was alive with birds – mostly Goldcrests, but some Chiffchaffs and Robins in the mix. Tons of Redwings were piling in off the sea overhead – it was just fabulous to watch. I headed back to the main path and then the rain came down heavily. I diverted off to sit by the drinking pool in the rain and watched a gorgeous Goldcrest having a wash and brush up. This is where Ashley S. had a Pallas's Warbler drop in the other day! I had to make do with the Goldcrest, but equally beautiful to observe. Nothing else turned up at the pool. I headed back towards the dell.

The rain had stopped momentarily and I was just getting the camera out of the bag again when a birder standing close by said 'Pallas's Warbler'. I got some fantastic views of this in a large, dense bush (just on the outside of the dell), but only for a minute or two – I tried in vain to get the camera on the bird, but it promptly disappeared. I LOVE Pallas's Warblers, they are just so stunning, thank you so much to London birder Phil Thompson for making this bird of the day for me! Phil then continued along the path towards the dell (take note). I continued to attempt to find the Pallas's to photograph. Meanwhile I had a very amusing text message from Ashley to said he had 'filmed the little xxxxxxx' which made me chuckle – he had managed to get another, better film of the Blyth's Reed Warbler HERE and read his account of today's birding. I headed towards the Blyth's again and bumped into Phil T. who after just finding a Pallas's Warbler had only jammed in on the Blyth's Reed Warbler – only seconds before I bumped into him, he saw it fly across and land on a rose briar in a bramble, right in front of him! If only I had continued walking with him! Nowhere to be seen again though, surprise, surprise! Along with a handful of birders we heard the bird tack a couple more times and then silence. Still raining and with light disappearing fast, I ambled back to the car park.

Met up with Phil again just before the car park and we blitzed the sea-buckthorn by the lifeboat house, but too dark really to view anything. It was raining heavily now and I was utterly soaked. Left the car park and parked up just outside Wells to have a coffee and something to eat. The drive back to King's Lynn wasn't much fun with flooded roads, making driving conditions difficult.

Fabulous that a second Isabelline Shrike has turned up today at Holkham! Also lucky for the hardcore/cheque book twitchers, that the Wilson's Warbler was still on the Isle of Lewis for a second day. Hoping for big birds this week, maybe a Siberian Robin or Siberian Rubythroat – that will do for starters! Dawn 'til' dusk tomorrow, no messing about. Good Night!

1 comment:

  1. "cheque book twitchers"...
    Penny, that's a new one on me...
    but such a superb definition...
    this is about to become a blogpost on Aigronne Valley Wildlife.....
    where you will have to go for the pictures and the rest of the descriptions....
    I couldn't post them here... too many words!

    . ---ooo000ooo---.....The Birding Fraterinty.....---ooo000ooo---

    The Occasional Birdwatcher
    Weekend vagrant...
    Has a good pair of secondhand bins...
    occasionally a cheap 'scope...
    and a wobbly tripod...
    carrys a dog-eared original '60s copy of Collins...
    that they've had since they were fourteen...
    tucked in the pocket of an old water"proofish" coat...
    gets out at weekends if the other half allows!
    Somewhere at home is an old RSPB spotter's list...
    with one dedicated to a Life list...
    ticked in many different colours...
    with lots of gaps!!


    The Birder
    Often to be seen at weekends...
    rare vagrant during the week...
    has bins, 'scope and a decent tripod...
    nowadays, often carries a "bridge" camera...
    with a 20x to 30x zoom ability.
    Has a first edition of the more recent Collins...
    often plastic covered.
    Might well be single....
    or have an understanding partner...

    The Patcher
    Out as often as is possible...
    but never willing to to travel far...
    decent quality bins and 'scope...
    good SLR camera and assorted lenses....
    record books, a couple of field guides [one on "jizz" perhaps]...
    always has a notebook on the go... or a page-a-day diary...
    often looks miserable if an entry can't be made!
    Often has a dog... the excuse for numerous walks around "the patch"...
    the back garden, if there is one, tends to be converted...
    into a haven for birds!!
    Occasionally to be seen as a vagrant "off patch"!!


    The SeaWatcher...
    Similar to the Patcher... but much hardier...
    spends very long periods sitting in one place...
    on damp shingle, in dunes...
    or on clifftops...
    trying to spot Pomarine Skuas, Such'n'Such's Petrel or JoeSoap's Shearwater...
    and have very large 'scopes and SLRs with extremely long focus lenses...
    the latter to photograph the dot...
    for identification and proof that they have seen the damned thing...

    The Twitcher
    Perhaps the most well-known...
    a lot of this species are to be found in sudden erruptions at remote sites.
    These are the Skuas of the species...

    Can be a pest to permanent residents...
    and can also cause terrible damage to habitats...
    especially fragile ones...
    if a large number gather in one place, the surroundings get trampled severely!
    The more "juvenile" of the species will behave very irresponsibly...
    breaking into peoples' property and couldn't give a damn about anything....
    but getting a sight of that "twitch"!!

    The Chequebook Twitcher
    The ultimate raptor of the Birdwatching Fraternity...
    has all the equipment...
    access to fast transport...
    access to "loadsamoney"...
    if young... has inherited a fortune...
    if middle-aged... is self-employed.... as a consultant...
    if retired... they are spending the kids' inheritance!!
    They don't have a pager... they have pagers...
    They have a life list... that runs to several volumes....
    Like all "twitchers"... they "tick" and move on...
    they have no real knowledge of the birds...
    instead, rely on others to "let them know"!

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