short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

short eared owl - Thorpe Marshes

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

shakys back ..... Back again .....



So here it is finally I'm back on the Norfolk coast after a bit of time away. Yorkie let me know on Friday night over a pint of what his plan was for a trip up to the North Norfolk coast for the Blyths reed warbler among other such rarerties. As long as they stuck around he would be heading up there for first light Sunday morning.   I waited for his call Saturday night to confirm and let the wife know I would be back for late lunch.
6am we were on the road and talking all things birding ( and about a certain West ham beating the palace & getting themselves into champions league place ... Liverpool was quickly mentioned to ) . We arrived at Wells woods and after a coffee & light read we were quickly in the area where the Blyths had been seen.

Early morning reading

Many birders arriving all the time as were the migrating birds,dropping in all over our heads as we walked through . Mainly redwings along with some Fieldfare and few Bramblings. Especially of note was the amount of Goldcrests, dripping from every tree wherever you looked. I've had a couple of Goldcrests in a tree before today but at times me & Yorkie had 5-6 Goldcrests in a small tree and of course all had to be checked!
After an hour of searching we decided to take a break and head to where the Red-Flanked Bluetail was . After 15 minutes it showed its self and showed it did! Yorkie picked up and as it dropped down I was in the right place to help the small crowd around to where it was. A cracking example of a Bluetail. This was only my second sighting of this species with previous one seen up near Waxham way. We both got good views and soaked it up along with the now drizzling rain and decided to head off to see if we could bag ourselves a Humes Leaf warbler & Yellow Browed warbler . Well we heard what seemed to be a Humes leaf warbler and most around said it was too and then saw that same bird go from tree to tree but at no point did I or Yorkie get any decent views to be able to definitely see all the needed key features so this will still be on the wanted list. No sign while we were there of Yellow browed but Connor & Ben Lewis and a few other birders said they had great views of a Pallas warbler too just moments before we arrived so it was all happening ! Can't have em all though ay? But before we left this area a few birders including Ben were on a Firecrest, nice bird and although not as close as I would have like never the less a Firecrest was in the bag and added to the days list. But we wanted more & the target bird now was to centre all our time on finding the Blyths reed warbler.On route back towards the area we had been earlier we bumped into James Emerson (Birdsandbeer ) so a quick chat with him before we carried on our way only to then bump into Simion Tonkins, who I hadn't seen since last year back on the patch . He was too heading for the Blyths so we all marched on wards where on arrival numbers were gathering. Bird had been seen a few times and it wasn't long till we heard it calling and then someone was on it. Every one made there way to where the birder was standing ( some quicker then others ... Simon , Yorkie  quicker please) and there it it was for all of 5 seconds but a great 5 seconds they were great were! It showed on and off as it made its way around and then it seemed to settle in a patch of brambles . Hear was where best views of the Blyths Reed Warbler & become no.266 on my UK life listwere given to the large crowd. Now it was time to head off back and as we did we were stopped in our tracks by a tired out Brambling. The bird just walking along the deck and up onto a fallen branch. Never had I been so close to one before. Poor thing was tired and hungry so we carefully left him alone & back to the car park just avoiding going over its allowed time. Coffee & sandwhich were taken as we made our way towards Beeston Regis but on route of note was a cracking Red kite over near Holkham. 
As we arrived the reported Long Eared Owl had now flown so we walked over the green to pick up an obliging Isabelline Shrike. A beauty of a bird (no.267) ! After around 15 minutes we noticed a number of birders were gathering around the side the hedges in the area where the LEO had been last seen. . We both knew this could mean the LEO had been re located so hot-footed it over. As we arrived it flew, right infront of us over to a large tree being mobbed by a load of Blackbirds. Stunning absolutely majestic as we watched it fly again and show how agile we was as it dived back down & doubled back on its self, loosing its crowd of mobbing Blackbirds (and the crowd of birders too!)This had been on my most wanted list for about 3 years so I was buzzing & I followed it over to the otherside of the road but could not relocate it. Long Eared Owl was now my 3rd lifer , no.268. We both decided it was time to get back home ,happy in the knowledge we had made the most of what North Norfolk had had to offer us that day. 
tired Brambling



Isabelline Shrike-no.267

Happy Birding,
 Shaky

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