Friday, October 18, 2013

Stunning Chat and Red-tailed Butcher Bird.....

My first day off today of my mini holiday,saw me heading again to the Yorkshire coast,firstly visiting Scalby Mills and Beck at Scarborough and then later Flamborough.After arriving at my first destination of the day as it just began to get light,after a short search the Stonechat was found feeding in an area of rough grassland,i quickly tried to get the camera fitted together,but when i looked again the bird had gone.I then spent the next hour looking for the bird and it was eventually relocated on the opposite bank of the beck.With some patience the bird eventually showed well and it was really nice to see one again after such a long time and study the birds features,particularly the black axillaries and rusty uppertail coverts and stunning pallid plumage.The bird has been aged as 1st calendar year male,due to plumage characters,it did show a slight mask,or darkish area around the eye.It was very active,flycatching and was watched being chased on a few occasions by a Wren and Robins.Other notable sightings around the area while watching or searching for the Stonechat included a 1st calendar year Little Gull hawking insects along the beck,female type Merlin flying north along the cliff top,1 Kingfisher,1 Dipper,Male Stonechat,1 Great-spotted Woodpecker and 2 Grey Wagtail.After seeing this little Siberian beauty,i travelled over to Flamborough to see if i could see the reported Daurian Shrike.On arrival at the lighthouse car park it was noticeable that the wind had freshened and rain was in the air.I walked over to where the Shrike had been seen,which wasn't the greatest viewing conditions to be fair,having to look over buildings and gardens to see it,but after about twenty minutes i managed to find it sat on the edge of Sycamore.In the poor light,this bird still looked distinctly pale,with its rusty outer tail feathers and darker central tail feathers,dark mask and sandy uppers and with some patience some decent views were eventually gained albeit a bit distant at times of this cracking Shrike.The weather sadly started to deteriorate and began to rain,so i decided to call it a day,but not a bad one at all,with two nice birds in the bag.

Not in focus i know,but it depicts the black axilleries.

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