On this fateful day which will be indelibly edged in my memory forever, I started out at 7.30pm when I drove over to John H's house and we were under starters orders waiting for news of the Rufous- tailed Robin at Norfolk. However, there had been a clear night and all the migrants had left.
So visiting Corton old rail track I saw James B and we heard Ybw calling from the eastern hedge but it remained elusive. Around 15 excellent Redpoll called and flew over by the copse. By the plantation, 3 Redpolls perched up and we heard a further 2 ybw's but again they remained elusive. By Corton old sewage works field James & I saw Meadow Pipits and Sky Larks in the fields plus by the grassy field just south of Potters, 5 Wheatear. Walking back past Corton MOD I met a nice couple walking their dog and they gave a very good description of a Short- eared Owl that they had flushed yesterday by the cliff top and it had flown languidly out to sea. Seeing James B we were saw a female Falcon fly away from us and and over the sea we were mystified to its identity as it was too big for Merlin but appeared too small for Peregrine. Walking back past Broadlands Sands, we were fortunate enough to see Ricky F and as we were talking I spotted an excellent Black Redstart by the seaward fence it later flew inland.
Walking back along the Corton old rail track Ricky and I heard the Yellow- browed Warbler calling from the sallows and we soon had good views of this and another, second Yellow- browed Warbler next to it (along the belt of sallows running west from the copse)
I then had a "tweet" to say that an OBP had been seen in Sparrows Nest and after telling Ricky, I made my way to the Nest.
It was good to see Danny P and we took the southern path along the top ride with the circular path, we joined Chris M, Peter N and Robert Win. We looked north along the eastern top path and Robert Wil and Ricky were gesturing to say they had the bird. It then flew up to some trees within the grassy area contained within the circular path.
This bird proved extremely elusive in the afternoon and a pattern would emerge that it would no sooner be seen at the top of the nest and then 20- 30 minutes later it would be seen in the area ground/ trees just above the bowling green.
A shout went up at the bottom and we went down the southern steps to the path above the Bowling green, no sign.
I decided to walk back up the southern steps and shout went up that it was in the trees. I saw the bird fly up and then hop out onto a branch in full view bathed in the sunlight and I was treated to a rare 10 second view of the excellent Olive- backed Pipit in full view for me. It showed olive green plumage, a striking cream supercilia with an obvious supercilium drop at the end of the supercilia with a dark spot at the rear of the ear coverts, a cracking bird.
Back at the top of the nest I eventually saw a Firecrest near the very top of a tree drenched in the golden light of the setting sun.
Later on at 4.20pm it was seen in trees set back from the Bowling green but with the crowd of people I was in entirely the wrong position to see it either in the tree of the horizontal branch in a bush just off the ground.
It was good to see so many friends here, including the aforementioned people as well as Paul & Jane, John H again, Andrew E, OFB, regular correspondent Paul W, Matthew D. You are all a great bunch of people and it is a privilege to know you all.