Saturday, September 22, 2012

East coast goodness

Find your own Yellow-brow (it's in there somewhere)......

22nd: A quick one, what with dawn approaching and opportunities to enjoy, but as of today, the drought is officially over. An entertaining few hours sea-watching from first light (Pom Skua, lots of ducks, Brents, a few Sootys and more besides) was followed by a two-hour window on terra firma, and at last, a promising break from the satanic south-westerlies.

A few minutes later and I got as far as the eastern end of the Top Scrub, where a mixture of shrubs and a strip of successional woodland herald the first cover for migrants after clearing the North Sea. Clear blue skies and light to moderate northerlies, while hardly the perfect storm, at least encouraged more scrutiny, and a sheltered sunny corner seemed like the perfect place to hang around for a while.

A few Goldcrests, Chiffys, Blackcaps, Coal Tits and Lesser Whitethroats later, and bingo, a Hippolais warbler darted into the undergrowth. Some minutes later, and better views revealed - here it comes - yet another Icterine Warbler. If I've a totem bird for 2012, it's an easy call.

With word of a Yellow-browed fresh-in a kilometre or so west at the Tip, phones bleeping and radios crackling (yep, it's an autumn weekend), I decided to dig in for a little while and see what happened. A few minutes later, and there in the crown of a sycamore (just a few metres above the Icterine's chosen bolt-hole), a Yellow-browed Warbler materialised. The sprite that never dulls, the harbinger of possibilities, and a little beauty at anytime, anyplace.

Bar-tailed Godwit on the Country Park

An east coast bird observatory in late September with impending easterly winds and rain forecast? There are worse places to wake up.

Pied Fly in the canopy of Church Ravine