Sunday, 18 October 2015

Norfolk Birding: Red-flanked Bluetail & Olive-backed pipit

Having encountered a few dense fog patches where visibility was down to just a few metres, we still arrived at Wells beach car park around 7.15 having left Essex two hours earlier.
Barn Owls were again seen on route among which was a brief encounter with one perched on a roadside sign.
Having headed off along the main track we began scanning and listening for any signs of the Blyth's,  but could only find Goldcrests, Blackcaps, Blue and Great Tits with large numbers of Redwings flying over.
Further along the track another birder informs us he has just heard the Blyth's close to the old toilet block! Having doubled back we began the search along with a small group of birders, but after 30 minutes and with time short we moved on towards the "Drinking Pool" hoping to connect with the Red-flanked Bluetail. A Short scan after arriving and the Bluetail is spotted feeding low down at the base of a Beech tree. A cracking bird and it's finally on the life list!

Red-flanked Bluetail

Heading off along the track we failed to locate the Great Grey Shrike that had been reported by the metal gate, after joining a growing group of birders looking for the Hume's Leaf warbler we heard it call and soon after it flew across the track calling. Another year tick was added when a Yellow-browed warbler was found close by.
On the return walk to the car park we had another search for the Blyth's and got lucky when another birder put us on to it high among the branches! 

Leaving Wells we headed for Muckleburgh Hill in search of the Olive-backed Pipit. Having taken the right hand path we reached the top of the hill and joined the assembled birders already present. The OBP showed almost immediately feeding among the bracken. 

Olive-backed Pipit (B Anderson)

With time short we made our way to Beeston Regis and found the Isabelline Shrike perched up in a nearby Hawthorn bush. We had already connected with it the previous weekend but it was well worth a second visit.

Isabelline Shrike

Before leaving we managed to add a Long-eared Owl to the year list, when it was flushed by the local Magpies. It circled twice and tried to land in a large Oak tree by the roadside, before flying across the road and heading into the trees nearby.

A great end to another super day's birding in Norfolk! 

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