Saturday, 12 October 2013

R'ouzels, Robins and RBFs

Today was supposed to be a 'bird-free' day (if there is such a thing!). I had lots of stuff to do before heading back to work on Monday after my week off. However, the weather was looking reasonably good, calm and dry. All day long I was watching RBA, seeing what everyone else was looking at and by 2pm I cracked and headed out the door.
I hadn't a great deal of time, so went straight to Great Yarmouth Cemetery. An RB Fly was being reported in the southern section and a Ring Ouzel was present also.
I was hoping for some nice photo opportunities with the RBFly, but had to park that idea when I reached the spot. It was feeding high in the sycamores, against the light, which was pretty poor anyway.
I joined the huddle of other birders under the trees and enjoyed reasonable views of the bird as it flitted around the canopy of a sycamore.

Birders watch the RBF at Great Yarmouth Cemetery

Occasionally it dropped down a little lower and I managed one 'okayish' record shot as it did so.

1st winter Red-breasted Flycatcher, Great Yarmouth cemetery, Norfolk - 12th October 2013
With the light not getting any better I headed away to look for the Ring Ouzel. I found the Rowan tree in the southern section that the bird had been seen in. Two other birders told me that there had been two in fact, a first winter and an adult male. I've only ever seen first winter birds so it'd be nice to see a proper male with a full white breast band. I could see plenty of Blackbirds, Redwings and Song Thrushes moving in and out of the Rowan. I moved around, so I had what little light was left to my back, and waited. I was able to use a rather large upright stone memorial as cover. With a little patience the male bird eventually came in. I loved the sound of its sharp metallic call as it scolded a Song Thrush away.

Adult male Ring Ouzel, Great Yarmouth Cemetery

Bossing a Song Thrush away!
The first winter was present also but I never got a clear view of it in the Rowan. Hopefully both R'Ouzels will make it safely to the Atlas mountains of Morocco where they spend the winter I believe.
As the light faded slowly I spent the last thirty minutes watching the thrushes devour the berries. The Redwings reminding me that winter isn't too far off.

Lastly I must add that the place was absolutely choca with Robins. Must be mostly continentals, some did look a little greyer but its tricky to tell in poor light really.
Tomorrow is my last full day birding of the Autumn break - hopefully one last biggie!

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