25 Sep 2008

What a week!

Off to Shetland tomorrow for 5 days birding - what a week they've had so far with Brown Flycatcher, Siberian Thrush, Syke's Warbler, Eastern Olivaceous and possible Thick-billed Warbler. Bleedin hell! All that on top of Red-flanked Bluetail, Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler & Lanceolated Warbler. F*ck me - I hope some of them stick!!!
It's not only Shetland thats getting the birds. Flamborough proved it's credentials as one of the top UK rarity hotspots by throwing up a stunning male Brown Shrike that proved to be to much of a temptation so I jumped at the chance of a lift first thing with Fred Fearn. The journey over was a bit fraught when news came out the bird had been lost. News then came out it had been refound but then came the news that the refound bird was a Red-backed Shrike. Oh sh*t. The mood in the car changed by the minute. Only when Groucho Payne rang to say it the bird had been refound on the golf course when we were only 20 minutes away did the mood lighten again. All we had to do was get there before Talidan the Flusher Man.
What a cracking bird and all credit to the local birders for arranging parking and stopping people getting to close. As well as the star turn there was a supporting cast of Red-backed Shrike, Red-breasted Flycatcher and Yellow-browed Warblers by the bucket full. Bleedin hell!

Such was the draw of this bird even Mr Conlin left the Wirral to twitch it along with his personal chauffer Frank! Many other familiar faces put in an appearance during the time we were there and everyone went away supremely happy. This bird was a first for mainland Britain.

Events in Yorkshire overshadowed another extremely good bird - a Stilt Sandpiper at RSPB Campfield in Cumbria.

On top of all this exitement I finally caught up with an elusive Firecrest in Stanney Woods. Probably the same 'probable' that I'd heard and seen briefly flying through the garden early morning on both the 19th & 23rd September.
What a week and it's not over yet!

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