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Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Minsmere Bluetail


My return from Scilly had me driving straight to Minsmere RSPB in the hope of seeing an immature 1st winter female Red- flanked Bluetail that had taken up temporary residence in the Sluice Bushes just south of the reserve. My walk down was briefly distracted by a doe Red Deer that was feeding exceptionally close in the woods by the track just west of the Reserve centre.
The bird was being seen occasionally flitting around deep in the Sluice bushes and my Scilly companion Andrew H (no aspertions on Andrew who is an excellent bloke and ace birder who has found Pallas' Warbler on Scilly in 2007.) and Carl B and his brother Barry (a rarer sighting than the Bluetail these days!) were also there. The Bluetail was exceptionally elusive flitting around on the floor, occasionally fling up to a perch for a milli- second before flying elsewhere.
However there was a 40 minute period where we were seeing it every 5 minutes albeit brief views and through the vegetation but the orange flanks, blue-tail, eye-ring and white throat were all collectively seen during these sightings.  
Standing on the outside of the bush on the western side for an hour I had one tantalising brief sighting where I just failed to get a close photograph it, it had already flown by the time I had pressed the shutter button!
Walking back elated, I saw a young Water Rail walking past a pool in the former Konik field and walking past the South Scrape a birder informed me a Glossy Ibis was with Lapwing on a distant island. Sure enough I saw it standing there facing right before it shortly after decided to promptly fly south at 5.30pm.

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