Sunday 29 January 2017

The last Twitch

Firstly, I know it's a bit late, but Happy New Year to everyone. After twitching the Surf Scoter (see previous post),  the following day, my mate Steve James asked if I fancied going to see a Blue-rock Thrush that had turned up in Stow-on -the Wolds, Gloucestershire.  There were rumblings that the bird  was an escape, but after being bitten once by not going to see the Chinese pond Heron which got accepted BOURC, we was not going to make the same mistake twice! -  so going to see the Thrush was an insurance tick until they come to a decision about the bird. It was an hour and half drive for us,  and when we got there,  there were probably over a hundred birders already there! The bird had been seen on rooves and gardens on the housing estate where it was frequenting, but had now  disappeared. Typical!!  It was a couple of hours before it was found again in it's favoured garden, and  it then flew up on to a roof where everyone got good views of the Blue-rock Thrush
Blue-rock Thrush
Didn't do much birding early January as, after getting burgled by some piece of scum just after Christmas, the Duchess and I have been busy making our home a lot more secure, so again, when Steve James messaged me with "I see the Black Scoter has returned to its winter grounds at Goswick in Northumberland" ( this bird owed us one, as Steve, John Hague and I had 'dipped' it a couple of years ago) so we decided to try again for it. On 24th of January we made the 250 mile trip to sunny Northumberland,  parking up at the golf  course clubhouse. We were ready to walk the mile or so south to where the news service had last reported it, but luckily, we bumped into another birder we knew - Dan Pointon - who told us it was just north of the golf clubs' clubhouse. The first bird we had was a Merlin dashing over the golf course -  a nice start - and so, after a 15 minute walk north up the beach, Steve got onto a small flock of Common Scoters, and in amongst them was our target bird - another BOU tick! Apart from the hundreds of Common Scoter, other birds of note were quite a few Red-throated Divers and Red-breasted Mergansres, and some Long-tailed Ducks with some super drakes on show, and the odd male Eider. We decided on our way back home that we would call into Druridge Bay Country Park, also in Northumberland -  an hour or drive south, where a Pacific Diver had taken up residence.  Steve had already been to see the bird, but after seeing the images of the bird on social media, I thought while we up that way I would try and grab a few images of the diver too,  It was a long way  to travel and a long day, but well worth it! We had a good days' birding. Below are a few images of the said bird.
                                                 The Pacific Diver having a wing stretch

                                                  Having a stretch having just woken up

As always, thanks for stopping by! My next little jaunt is to Thailand in early February, so hopefully I will have some images to share with you all from there.