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Saturday, 8 October 2016

Dripping migrants in Lowestoft

On Saturday October 8th, with light easterly winds and rain of caring intensity for most of the day, dawn was overcast and damp outside. First thing, I looked in the garden before we let the our cats out and was amazed to find a recently dead Yellow- browed Warbler on the edge of the lawn/ flowerbed. The corpse was still warm and the eyes were still black so recently died either from neighbours' cats (which are left out overnight) or maybe from a Sprawk? I then looked out and amazingly head a "pssst" of a Redwing flew west and then the chackle of a Ring Ouzel flying west too. The white gorget on the beast clearly seen as it flew. I looked around Fallowfields and got absolutely soaked as the rain came lashing down, I saw a flock of LT Tits with a Chiff- Chaff. and a lone Redwing seen too. Next stop was Links road car park where 1 adult winter Mediterranean Gull was seen in Warren House Wood, saw several Goldcrests, 4 at the east end of the wood and 6 in the garden. Met James W, we heard a Grey Wagtail calling overhead but couldn't see it. Back at Links road, the adult winter Mediterranean Gull flock had increased to 4. Walking along the dense several Meadow Pipits seen and behind the Oval, I saw Richard S sheltering under a tree in the increasing precipitation of the rain. I joined him and he told me he had found a Ybw by the sycamores by the wall just minutes earlier. When the rain had stopped, we walked along and I refound the excellent Yellow- browed Warbler because it called about 14X from the White Poplar tree that the late Jimmy R always used to say was like a magnet for this species. I was delighted to find it flitting around at the very top canopy of the tree showing silky white underparts, cream super cilia and 2 yellow wing bars. I pointed it out to Richard and we literally had back and neck breaking views. Whilst on the Oval, an incredible total of at times, really close 55 Meadow Pipits. 2 Robins seen flying down from the Oval wall. A male Blackcap was seen at the back of the southern end of the Oval. Not much in Belle Vue Park, save for a flock of 15 Goldcrests. As soon as we entered Sparrows Nest, from the steps from Yarmouth road, from the second steps down, I spotted an excellent Firecrest flitting around near the top of a tree, it was even chased by a Goldcrest. By the top part, 15 Goldcrests seen plus a Song Thrush and Redwing. walking back to the car at links road car park, more birds seen along the east side of the Oval including yet more Goldcrests, 2 Great Tits, the 55 Meadow Pipits were joined by 2 Wheatears, 1 adults and 1 immature bird. On the Denes itself by the weedy part, a Stonechat seen, 2 Meadow Pipits and 2 Reed Buntings seen. At Ness point, 5 Goldcrests seen in 1 low bush, 5 Meadow Pipits around the area south of the Orbis centre. With news of a Rosefinch seen in a seaside arable field off Lane, Reydon (opposite St. Felix school), I picked up Maurice B by Heathlands and we parked at the Drive and walked up Keens Lane seeing the Norfolk Visitor, and our men on the spot Chris M & Peter N plus Ali R. At Reydon, the sun had belatedly appeared, but still no sign of the Rosefinch but 3 fine Bramblings flew in and 2 perched on the top of a tall fir tree in someone's garden. They were fine males in summer-winter transitional plumage, they sadly flew off before the camera could be fully utilised. With Andrew finding a GG Shrike on the North Denes, which I had already checked 3X today (albeit in light rain), I raced back but was delayed horribly through Oulton Broad looking over to the basin as I drove past, from Mutford Lock bridge, it looked as if the Slavonian Grebe was still there, but it can only be marked down as a probable, as it was seen briefly from the car. Finally, after an interminable wait through Oulton Broad, I pulled up at the Oval seeing Rob Wil and Andrew E watching and photo'ing the excellent Great Grey Shrike perched in he second pine from the eastern end of the northern wall of the Oval, it perched here for 5 minutes before a well known Norfolk photographer and his wife appeared, the Shrike immediately dropped down, then seen flying low and east over the Denes towards the slope.

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