Monday, 2 June 2014

Spectacled Warbler: Burham Overy, Not a bad consolation!

A 5am start this morning with the destination being West Runton in Norfolk. 
The female Black-headed Bunting having been present since 28th May was the target bird.
Pulling into the disused pig farm around 7am to find several birders already scanning the favoured feeding areas.
A few enquires and it was not positive news, no sightings so far this morning.
Three hours later and after constant scanning of every bramble bush in the area we drew a blank. The only highlight of the morning being a day hunting Barn Owl.
Skylarks, Linnets and Common Whitethroats were also seen along with small flocks of Guillemots flying low over the sea heading East.
Disappointed we move on and head towards Choseley and park up near the drying barns. Corn Buntings and Yellowhammers are quickly seen around the barns and on the wires.
A Marsh Harrier drifts across quartering the field behind us, and then a second bird is seen hunting in the same field.
Still no year ticks so far this morning, but just along the road our luck changed when a single Grey Partridge was spotted from the car.
This has been a frustrating species to pin down this year, so we took the opportunity to pull the car over and take a longer look.

Titchwell was to be the next destination, The reserve was on the whole pretty quiet, but there were four Spoonbills, several Little Ringed Plovers a couple of Bearded Tits and three male Red crested Pochards present along with four Marsh Harriers in the air at the same time.
While heading back towards the cafe, news broke on the pager of a "MEGA" bird being found at Burnham Overy. A Spectacled Warbler had been found among the sand dunes at Gun Hill.
A quick stop to buy a coffee and it was back to the car and off towards Burnham. Luckily not too many birders had made it to the parking areas yet, so we were able to squeeze the car in along the side of the road and set off along the track.
Normally I get as far as scanning the area from the roadside, hoping to pick up a raptor or two, today I had to make the long trek out along the path, climbing the small grass bank we could see a small group of birders away in the distance among the dunes.
Eventually we reached the boardwalk and from here it was a relatively short walk to reach the assembled birders.
Scope set up and "Bingo" the bird is found straight away among the vegetation on the side of the dunes. 

Spectacled Warbler

Having watched it for some 10-15 minutes it suddenly took off and headed towards the boardwalk and a larger area of cover.
From here it proved more difficult to pin down, but eventually it would start singing and this seemed to be a queue for it to appear at the top of the vegetation.
A cracking bird and it more than made up for the disappointment of dipping the Black-headed Bunting earlier in the morning.

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