Friday, October 17, 2014

Radde's Warbler

really pleased to get good views of this Radde's warbler at Donna Nook on Tuesday -- in almost exactly the same spot as a bird there in October 1990 during the mega fall - feeding in a small patch of phragmites and always hard to get good images of this was a real treat -- I was inspired into rare bird searching as a teenage beginner through the acquisition of the Popular Handbook of Rarer British Birds -- leafing through that volume I came across the page on which Radde's Bush warbler was detailed -- the text described the species but more critically it detailed the only British record obtained at North Cotes Lincolnshire on October 1st 1898 --  this was my county and clearly a place where really rare birds could be found!
Excuse the image overload -- I have a soft spot for Radde's -- my first was a beautiful bird at Wells Woods in October 1975 -- after a frustrating series of flight views Dunc B and I sat under a birch tree and we had the bird feeding within 5 feet -- no bins needed just an unforgettable experience and a chance to put Ian Wallace's ID article in british Birds to the test -- those were heady days accomplished after a Friday evening hitch from Tring to Norwich, night in a UNi room and whiz on the back of Duncan's motorbike to Wells -- check those undertail coverts always a good ID pointer as a bird flies away

another Great Grey Shrike on the coast

a rather tame bird at Saltfleet Haven -- it was catching plenty of food including Common Darters but was oddly tame though invariably sat with a branch across it -- sods law

local patch Yellow-browed Warbler

two Yellow-browed Warblers were calling on my patch at Waters' Edge yesterday morning a brilliant record but the third autumn I have had this species on this inland patch; the first from October 10th - 15th 2005 was joined by a second bird from 14th - 15th with another on October 3rd 2007; just a few miles down the estuary I also had a Yellow-browed at Dawson City, Goxhill Marsh, my old stamping ground on October 3rd 2012 - the question is though how many have occurred without calling? must be a good number that go undetected
- I have also had 6 Richard's Pipits up the Humber at East Halton Skitter 25-26 Oct 1975, 27-28 Oct 1980, 5 Oct 2010, at Barton 28 Nov 2001 and 23 Oct 2013 plus Alkborough 12 Oct 2008 so eastern vagrants do get inland and clearly something rarer is a distinct possibility -- just needs finding

how many Great Grey Shrikes?

on Tuesday afternoon the Great Grey shown in the post first Great Grey Shrike was in the trees and hedges around Pyes Hall; first thing the following morning a Great Grey was nearer the car park, new bird?, and the assumed same bird around Pyes where it stayed all day -- easy to make assumptions though and when I looked at my images of the Pyes bird from wednesday it is clearly a new bird with very faint, hardly visible underpart vermiculations and a more obvious solid black loral stripe --
first two images the bird near the car park --remainder the outer ridge / Pyes bird