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Saturday, 12 September 2015

Bluethroat & Wryneck at Winterton

On Saturday 12th September having already missed 2 Bluethroat already this year and wanting to break my recent run of dips at Winterton- no having seen any birds there in he past 18 months, I waited until confirmation following report of a Bluethroat in the South Dunes. This duly came through from Tommy C with the encouraging news that it was showing well. I walked down the valley and not seeing any other birders I carried on to where there was a group of them by a sign with a large bush just north of it. Some birders said they had it, and I assuming it was the Bluethroat and I was looking on the ground at the base of the tree just left of the main trunk. Eventually, they explained it was a foot off the ground and a fine Wryneck came into view. An excellent brief sighting but I assumed this was where the Bluethroat was and had to retrace my steps back to the bushes along the main "inland" path of the Dunes just south of Hermaness. A group of birders were looking on the eastern side of this bush and the excellent Bluethroat was seen briefly in silhouette, it ran behind a small bush directly in front of me, where it frustratingly disappeared. I met Craig & Tinm H and Tim explained it was very faithful to this specific bush wandering no further than 15 metres away. It show roughly every ten minutes so not to worry. But when Barry J crouched down the other/ "inland side" of the bush, it was clear he was on it. I moved around to the other side of the bush, where it surrounded a bowl shaped area of grass. The bird would then would regularly hop out and run across the grass being around 3-4 metres away at times it was showing to around a metre! It perched once on a small branch of gorse. Then a well known Norfolk bird photographer turned up and he went the other side and he and his wife were as usual waiting far to close to the bush pushing the bird the opposite side and for once he did me a favour (but not the bird!) as it showed really well in front of me in the grassy bowl. It even ran to a bush beside me, when the photographer walked around he flushed it (no surprise there, no fieldcraft whatsoever!) and it flew to the right side of the bush by a gap through to the eastern side showing its fine chestnut basal tail panels as the tail flared when it landed at the eastern end. Later on it came out in this grassy bowl and showed down to a metre ridiculously close! Only problem photographically was the light was so awful and when the sun did briefly eventually came out the bird wasn't showing, sadly. 5 House Martin feeding over Parkhill/ Fallowfields this evening. Although I believe my pair has left within the past week lets hope they have a south journey south and I look forward to seeing them next year.

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