Wednesday 12 October 2016

One last shot

OK - one day left to turn it into something special. Still a final chance to dig out a decent bird. I had a mental image of an Isabelline Shrike spiking a freshly killed Robin on a hawthorn - that never happened of course!
As it had been for most of the last few days, Happisburgh continued to feel 'rare'. Strong east wind, intermittent showers and dark skies!!!
I was watching a group of six Reed Buntings up at the coast watch. They were joined by a very smart Mealy Redpoll. Just then a small form flitted past and dived into the nearest nettle bed. Did that Goldcrest have a pale rump? A Goldcrest called from the same spot.....darn! But that was a pale rump, right? A quick scan with the bins and there was this striking gold supercilium peeping out at me. James Gilroy's Pallas's was still here! Almost like finding one for myself - almost!
I tried for photos but the bird was really mobile. I re-found it twice but it was very good at ditching me each time and if only this blade of grass wasn't there!

Pallas's Warbler, Happisburgh, Norfolk - 12th October 2016
I had spent so much time with the Pallas's that I was running things very tightly if I was to check anywhere else in Happisburgh. I walked the trees along the edge of the cricket club but could only find two Goldcrests. However, at the church yard a female type Black Redstart was present, posing nicely on the headstones.

Black Redstart, St. Mary's Church, Happisburgh, Norfolk
At 5.30pm, I called time and headed home.
So overall, it's not been a vintage autumn for me. A chance to go to Fair Isle went a begging because I couldn't get a flight off in time. So, instead I picked a spot in east Norfolk and birded that each day for five days. I saw stacks of Goldcrests, Thrushes, Robins and Finches. Managed to pick out a couple of Firecrests, two Yellow-browed Warblers, a Common Redstart, a Black Redstart and a few Brambling. I had a two Pallas's day, re-found one of those Pallas's and added Dusky Warbler to my British list. Not vintage - but I've had worse.

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