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Sunday, 18 October 2020

MEGA!!! EASTERN RUFOUS BUSH CHAT at Stiffkey, Norfolk! Take Two! Plus Searching For Migrants On Last Day of My Holiday!!

 
EASTERN RUFOUS BUSH CHAT 
Stiffkey Marshes

 

I knew it was an incredibly high Spring Tide this morning, so this had to mean that the Eastern Rufous Bush Chat would have moved to the coastal path somewhere or if not, either moved on or deceased. I arrived at Green Way, Stiffkey shortly just after sunrise and was surprised to easily find a space along the road – parked up on the verge and got my gear together. The pager bleeped up with info that it was back on the saltmarsh, so I decided to go to the clifftop wood to search for Pallas's Warblers. On nearing the car park, I discovered that in fact the Eastern Rufous Bush Chat was not in the middle of the saltmarsh, but only a short distance away in the field just west and adjacent to the car park – it was feeding along the edge of the stubble field and alexanders, underneath a yew and pine tree!!! I couldn't believe my luck as I joined a fairly modest crowd to watch this cracking bird with far better views than yesterday and with no mud and creeks involved. It looked far more sprightly than yesterday thank goodness and I didn't see it shutting its eyes once, which was really good to see. I have met lots of lovely visiting birders over the weekend, who have very kindly said how much they love reading my blog and to 'keep up the good work' etc. Someone I met this morning called Sid, asked me to give him a mention 'on the blog' so HELLO SID! Lovely to meet you and share the joy of watching this mega bird!


Whilst we stood here, three spaniels appeared from nowhere, came hurtling into the field and flushed the Eastern Rufous Bush Chat, who had been happily feeding along the field edge, much to the dismay of everyone! The bush chat flew up into a hawthorn and perched and preened there for a good minute or so, before returning to the field edge. Later we saw it fly over the field edge/verge and possibly over the coastal footpath and a local birder felt pretty sure it had returned to the scrub east of the wooden bridge in the middle of the salt marsh. I waited another half an hour and then left. The Eastern Rufous Bush Chat had indeed relocated to the middle of the marsh, just east of the wooden bridge, the RBA pager reported later on.

 
EASTERN RUFOUS BUSH CHAT
 

I spent a long time, slowly checking all the cliff top wood just east of the car park, in hope of finding yesterday's Pallas's Warbler, but neither myself or any other birders found any. Lots of Goldcrests feeding in the sycamores though. Meandered back to the car park and then walk west as far as the 'whirlygig'. Blackbirds, Redwings, Robins and Linnets were seen and also a finch flock of Goldfinches, Chaffinches and a single Yellowhammer feeding in a field south of the hedge, along with a female Blackcap. Lots of Brent Geese feeding all along the marsh and a few Little Egrets dotted around. Returned to the car park.

Brent Geese feeding  on Stiffkey Marshes

 

Went to Garden Drove at Warham Greens. A Pied Wagtail was feeding in the field east of the concrete pad. Lovely to watch several birds appearing on the track to feed and drink from the puddles, including several Blackbirds, a Redwing, Hedge Sparrows and Robins. Long-tailed Tit flock found, but nothing else of note. Searched the copse at the end thoroughly, but only Redwings found. Lots of Goldfinches were feeding on thistle heads in the field west of the track. Returned to my car and headed west.

 
PALLAS'S WARBLER 
At dusk, Thornham Harbour
 

I parked up in the road by Burnham Deepdale Church to search for the reported Yellow-browed Warblers. I heard one, but didn't see any as I stood with Rob and Jill W. Lots of Goldcrest were feeding though, which was nice to see. Thornham Harbour produced a Pallas's Warbler (reported here today) which happily fed all around the car park area and there were several photographers and birders here. I wished very much that had got here earlier, as the light was fading fast and because of this, I didn't get any crisp shots. 

Ended the day at Holme – parked up in the village car park and walked over the bridge/stream in the far left corner and along the track to the coastal path.  Watched a Red-flanked Bluetail flitting around amongt amongst the hawhorn bushes at 6pm with four other birders!

END OF MY HOLIDAY!

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