Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A bird in the bush is worth two in the hand...

Greenish Warbler, Chare Ends, Holy Island.
I took a flexi day on Tuesday after the rain, fog and easterlies yesterday to try and catch up with or, better still find, some of the scarce migrants that have littered our coastline. St Mary's fared well yesterday, and Holy Island had some good birds, so what was in between?

I started off at 7.30 this morning at Craster. I yomped over the heughs and the Arnold Reserve. It all started well with a good scattering of Blackcaps, Whitethroats and Chiffchaffs with a single Willow Warbler, but scarceties remained just that. Scarce.  Two Redwings were very early and were probably the highlight here.

So, off up to Low Newton, where I met Gary who was ringing on site. Migrants were very thin on the ground here, so a check of the Tin Church area and the Pool Willows was largely fruitless.

Next stop Holy Island. I got on to the island at about 12 noon and have never seen so many tourists here. Robson Green has a lot to answer for... 11 coaches were in the top car park and the main car park was almost over flowing. The village was like the Metro Centre!   

Despite this, plenty of migrants were on offer, and with the sun beginning to shine the day was looking up. The very first bird I came across was a Barred Warbler in a willow at the Chare Ends watched by a small gathering of Greenish twitchers, it was typically shy, but could be followed as it thrashed the thin branches around. A lovely bird, but too distant and flighty to get a single pic.

The Vicars Garden had Pied Flycatchers, a Spotted Flycatcher, loads of Willow Warblers ( some singing) and Chiffchaffs. I missed a Yellow browed Warbler present here earlier. On route I also had Wheatear, Redstarts and Tree Pipit.

Back at the Chare Ends and the Greenish Warbler, now in its third day, was showing beautifully in the afternoon sunshine to only two or three birders.

After the long day I was on my way home when Gary rang to say he had caught the two Red breasted Flycatchers together. I had a bit of time while he cleared nets and processed birds so arrived just in time to assist him with a photo, after all you cant hold two rarities and take the photo, can you!

What an end to a great day away from work...  

Me posing two Red breasted Flycatchers for a photo. They flew off strongly non the worse for their brief interruption.

And another of a Red breatsed Flycatcher. Both pics thanks to Gary Woodburn.

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