On our way shopping yesterday my phone rang and a voice came over the speaker in the car. Quiet at first, then in a trembling, hushed tone, we could hear 'Stewart? Stewart? I'm watching a Siberian Accentor...' Alan Tilmouth had struck gold by stumbling upon Northumberland's second Siberian Accentor of the month, during this amazing arrival of the species.
Unfortunately I was pre-booked and I couldn't get away, but this morning John and myself met under a fantastic sunrise at Amble, that may have been an omen of success.
Off we went down to Newbiggin by the Sea and after a bit of a debacle with a metal fence that I won't go into on here, we both managed excellent views of the bird. At one point it ran towards myself and Eric Barnes after being spooked by a weasel, stopping only 12 feet away to snack on a grub (leatherjacket I think). I suppose it had to happen sometime this autumn. After trekking down to Hull and back the other week, then dipping out at Holy Island, I cant tell you how pleased I am with this addition to my Northumberland List. What a beautiful bird. Thats me on 339. I wonder what 340 will be?
A great bird, studied and photographed to distraction, and, as you cant take them with you, off we headed further south to see another eastern wanderer, an Isabelline Shrike at South Shields. I've seen 4 or 5 of these pallid grim reapers before, but not an adult, so this female was a nice one to catch up with. Quite a dull bird, it was very active and popular with photographers too, so after a few ropey shots we left it to its business. A fly over Jack Snipe was nice to pad things out a bit too...
Another great days birding this autumn, surely that's the finish now?