Saturday, 4 October 2014
A confiding immature Red- backed Shrike at Ness Point
Since coming back from holiday, on Wednesday 24th September, I tried for the RB Fly at Kensington Gardens and in common with the 3 Greenish Warblers, LG Shrike, Barred warbler, YB Warbler this autumn, I missed it, wandering around the gardens in the afternoon for 2 hours failed to see it or anything else of note. Good to see Jeremy from GOR & Geoff from Beccles though. On Thursday, a dash down to the Turbine yard at Ness Point failed to reveal any of the trio of Black Redstarts although I saw a nice Wheatear here. On Saturday 27th September, I viewed the superb immature Red- backed Shrike from the sea wall, the following day, seen again plus 2 Bonxies going south, 5 Gannets flew northout to sea plus a fine Harbour Porpoise swimming north. On Saturday 4th October, the immature Red- backed Shrike was showing exceptionally well along the bushes bordering the eastern edge of Bird's Eye Factory and using the car as a mobile hide I managed to get close to the bird without disturbing it, indeed at one point it was too close for my lens set up. The Shrike was busy catching wasps and I noticed it took great care to get rid of the sting at the back end of the insect before devouring it. Looking out to sea, I a saw a Bonxie flying south. Seeing Maurice we had a chat then I drove seeing a group of 6 Meadow Pipits on the deck a couple of the their number briefly perched on the fence before flying west. I then drove to an enclosed area just south of the Orbis centre and was delighted to find my first belated Black Redstart of the autumn, a delightful smoky grey bird with fiery red tail that first disappeared behind some pallets before later being seen just to the left of a blue skip. Joining Rob Wil, Andrew E and Paul & Jane F we witnessed a remarkable passage of Bonxies flying south, some 69 Bonxies were seen by me flying around, some settled on the sea, some harried gulls, some were reasonably close where you could see the white wing flash on the wings. also seen amongst the Bonxies was the smaller longer winged Pomarine Skuas 2 were seen flying south. Small groups of waders included 2 Dunlin and 4 Dunlin and a sanderling flying south. Whilst 5 Red- throated Divers flew south singly. Some 268 Brent Geese in total flew south mostly in groups of around 20. 5 Gannets seen flying north, 8 Common Scoter south, groups of 8, 3 and 2 Wigeon south and 5, 6, 2 and 6 Teal south too. Another Black Redstart flicked up and perched on the wooden wall separating Ness point from the SLP dockyard. We also saw a fine Hobby departing these shores and flying out and the south over the sea. Whilst conversely small groups of 20, 18 and 8 Starlings flew in too.