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
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!