Tuesday 6 October 2020

Follow-up Chat

So, a quick update to my last blog post (A day to remember). If you read to the end you'll know that late Saturday evening Nick and I came across an odd looking chat at the end of Doggett's Lane. I got stuck somewhere between Whinchat and Stonechat and to be fair to Nick at the time he called Sibe Stonechat and possibly 'Stejneger's'. However, all this was based on about a total 30 second view. We did get a pale, apricoty, unstreaked rump and a off-white chin / throat plus that nice 'gentle / open' expression. However, that was it. We coudn't re-find it despite searching in the gathering rain and gloom. On the way back towards where we first had it, I saw what I thought was the bird but we both kind of dismissed this as a female European Stonechat (we had about 9 hours in the field by then and our brains were addled). It flew further away and perched on a bramble. I wasn't sure so decided to take a record shot. The second I pressed the shutter it flew off, curses I thought! I didn't bother to process the image until last night and here it is.

                                Probable Siberian 'Stejneger's' Stonechat, Cart Gap, Norfolk - 3rd October 2020


I wish I had processed the photo earlier but in any case, it was the Sibe Stonechat after all showing a nice unstreaked rump and dark auxiliaries. If it had stayed perched none of these features would have been visible.

Nick searched the following day (Sunday) but to no avail. On Monday Richard Moores re-found the bird (I'm assuming the same bird based on the photos he posted) and managed to obtain a faeces sample which has been sent away for DNA analysis. Top work there Richard.

As of today 6th October, the bird is still present though does go missing into the adjacent beet field at times. I will try later in the week to get back there and see it well. Meantime, let's wait and see what the pooh sample tells us.

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