Saturday, 2 October 2010

Rustic Bunting et al Flamborough Head

I spent the day birding around North Landing, Flamborough today. I really enjoyed myself last Tuesday wading through the fall of scarce and common migrants, the highlights being co-finding a Rustic Bunting and Barred Warbler (see a few posts down). What would today bring.....

I started off my walk round North Landing, it was evident immediately that it was a lot quieter than on Tuesday, however there was still plenty to look at, Robin, Dunnock, Wren, Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Reed Bunting and Yellowhammer. There seemed to be quite a few Blue Tit moving around, with the odd Siskin in the weedy vegetation.

A bit further along a couple of Stonechat caught my eye, then a bit further more Chiffchaff and Blackcap, then a distant Bunting popped up onto the top of a Hawthorn bush - I zoomed my phone camera as far as it would go - and had my scope on x60 but was not 100% certain (light/distance etc.) but did have an inkling it might be Rustic..., it then dropped out of my view and that was that, then a Yellow-browed Warbler caught my attention as it flew into the bush next to me before flying back away from me again. As I followed it back a brief view of a distant Acrocephalus warbler was a little frustrating, what was it... then a Whinchat popped up into view, followed by at least 3 Common Redstart, including a single cracking male that was very showy - and fairly tame.

I knew a couple of guys (Russ and John) also out birding around Flamborough today so gave them a call to come over and help me with the elusive Acro, which was still being very elusive and distant. As they met up with me the Acro warbler started coming closer and closer and eventually turned out to be just a Reed Warbler, however whilst watching this we noticed a female Pied Flycatcher sallying about for insects, then the Yellow-brow put in another appearance - before vanishing just as quickly as it had come into view.

During a brief lull in activity I showed Russ and John the pictures of my distant Bunting, they were happy that it was a Rustic. I hadn't had any sight or sound of the bird for a while and there had been a lot of disturbance in the area (Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Deer, Fox, people cutting grass, hedges etc), however a brief look around the most likely areas of suitable habitat resulted in several Reed Bunting and amazingly some cracking views of the Rustic Bunting. The bird called a few times, similar in some respects to a Song Thrush and showed on and off very well. At the same time as we were watching the Bunting the Yellow-browed Warbler started showing nicely, as too did a Common Whitethroat.

All above photos taken on my phone through my Swarovski scope.

I'd expected this bird to be the same as the one I'd co-found on Tuesday, however on reflection I don't think it was the same bird, I think the bird the other day had a more buffy supercillium and may have had a bit more streaking between the flanks and the breast. I also though the scapulars on Tuesday's bird were a bit brighter. I'd like to thank Russ and John for their help today.

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