Thursday, June 5, 2014

Spectacled Warbler Twitch

Tuesday night I set my alarm for 05:00, but I awoke at around 04:00 on Wednesday 4th June. So I got up and was on my way to North Norfolk around 04:30. The rain was lashing down in Farnborough and most of the way around M25, at one point Rio the black Nissan Juke did a bit of aquaplaning. As I neared the M11 the rain got lighter, but it never stopped all the way to Burnham Overy. I drove down East Harbour Way and parked up. Then I collected together all that I would need for the twitch and set of down the footpath. Started the days list with House sparrow, Swift, Collared dove, Pied wagtail & Starling, a local birder was cycling back so asked him if the Spectacled warbler was still there, Specky was and I was told where to go once I had reached the board walk. On the way to the board walk I added Cormorant, Little egret, Greylag goose, Shelduck, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Redshank, Black-headed gull, Woodpigeon, Meadow pipit, Reed Warbler and my first Sedge Warblers of the year.

Once at the board walk I joined three other birders, who had not located the Spectacled warbler, one had a recording of the song and call, so I listened to these to get my ear in. We were not far from the board walk and I saw Skylark, Dunnock and Linnet, so I swapped mobile numbers and I started to walk towards Gun Hill. When I had reached about half way along to the hill, I heard a song very similar to the one I had just learnt. 

So I setup my scope and started to look and listen, I looked behind and one of the other birders was coming along, so I motioned for him to come over. When he also heard the song, Bingo! it was the Spectacled warbler, so I called the mobile of the other two birders. The song and call was coming from the area around a flowering dog rose. We waited and watched and finally he was seen moving about and then he came into full view, he then flew little way up the hill, the others moved towards where he went, some more birders arrived. I went higher up and a little closer to the dog rose, a little bird was moving around, a Dunnock. I then had a look over the marshes and found a Spoonbill, then again a little bird in the dog rose caught my eye it was the Spectacled warbler. This time giving even better views and also singing when perched on top of the bush, managed to get some record shots, of a new bird for my UK list.

The view looking towards Gun Hill in the rain.

I then started to walk back adding Little grebe, Grey heron, Wigeon, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted duck, Pheasant, Moorhen, Coot, Herring gull, Little tern, Swallow, Wren, Blackbird, Magpie, Jackdaw, Reed bunting.

 2014 Year List = 194

On the way home I stopped at Weeting Heath NNR, for the Stone Curlews, I saw three, plus there were a lot of young rabbits, and a large adult was seen chasing off a Stoat.
View from hide.

2014 Year List = 195

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