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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Wryneck, Redstart, Whinchat & More At Stiffkey!

In the hawthorn hedge, west of the bait diggers path at Stiffkey.

I was so pleased when my colleagues and I finished work much earlier than expected today at 1.45pm! Whizzed home, lunch etc and then decisions – where to go.... with the Red-backed Shrike showing brilliantly at Winterton, I was tempted, but that's a long way to go (and expensive) late in the afternoon. There was an Adult Rose-coloured Starling in a residential street at Weybourne and a Barred Warbler and Wryneck at Stiffkey....... ok decision made, head for Stiffkey first.

It was a beautifully warm, sunny afternoon. Parked up for Stiffkey Fen and then walked along the bait-diggers footpath and headed west. I soon found Eddie (very handy) and he had just found the Wryneck sitting in the hedge west of the path I had just walked along at 5pm – fabulous! Mind you, I didn't get a picture of it at that point and it promptly disappeared. The Wryneck didn't show for the next hour. The place was buzzing with birds!!! There was a Redstart, a Whinchat and loads of Linnets and Goldfinches, all in the same hedge! Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps aswell and several Reed Buntings. I spent a long time also trying to see the Barred Warbler, but in vain. A Sparrowhawk spent a considerable amount of time along the hedgerow, attempting to grab a quick snack! 2 Herons also flew overhead.
Wryneck late evening at Stiffkey.
With no news on the Rose-coloured Starling at Weybourne from 3.40pm I decided to stay put. I presume people were not watching it after that and all evening without putting news out (especially those with pagers!). I chatted with two birders who had been to Weybourne and said there had been no news since around 3.30pm – they also said that the police had turned up and residents were not very happy – always difficult in a residential area.

I had a lovely time for the rest of the evening and finally managed to get a record shot at about 7.15pm of the Wryneck, which was in a big hawthorn bush amongst Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs enjoying a feeding frenzie of gnats on offer, as the sun went down. I watched the Wryneck until 7.30pm when it flew off west into a gorse area.

Female Blackcap fly-catching, late evening at Stiffkey.

 Chiffchaff fly-catching, late evening at Stiffkey.

It was chilly as I walked back to my car at 7.45pm. On route I had an amazing sighting of 45 Little Egrets flying east to roost locally!!! Loads of Greylag and Canada Geese in the field next to the path and 3 Curlews flew over north. The night's are really drawing in now, hate it when the evenings get shorter. Sat in my car and had my salad tea and drove home.
45 Little Egrets flying east to roost.

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