Been wanting to start writing my blog again for a while, but really was unsure where to start.
So finding a great rare is a great opportunity.
On Saturday strong northerly winds were forecast so Alysia and I headed out on the hope of finding some migrants, knowing that nearly 95% of all other birders will be squished in a shelter somewhere I felt Burnham Overy Dunes would be a great spot to start at dawn.
We arrived in twilight and started to walk out, a few Redwings, Fieldfares and a Ring Ouzel flew over us. Meadow Pipits and Starlings were also on the move.
To be honest it was actually a really quiet on the walk out, the wind was very strong and cold and I think most birds were being grounded by the constant rain showers. We did get to count 185 Little Egrets coming out of roost though. We occasionally flushed the odd Reed Bunting, Redwing and Song Thrush that was taking shelter next to the path and just before reaching the dunes a flyby Woodcock was great to see.
We got to the dunes and rain was then easing and the southern edge was relatively sheltered from the wind, we walked west towards gun hill.
I then heard three Fieldfare that were overhead and then heard an unusual call from just behind me it wasn't a call I had heard before.
I turned to try and view the bird this mystery call had come from, straight away I was onto a Fieldfare sized and shaped bird at eye height around 10m away flying in front of the saltmarsh Suaeda the most striking feature at this point was the large solid black throat. The next thing I noticed was the uniform grey back with the wings, back and rump. It was only brief but the bird was flying slowly into the wind allowing 4-5 seconds of decent close views. Still managed to shout out BLACK-THROATED THRUSH within a split second of seeing it so that Lis could also get on to it.
The Thrush kept flying and landed in the "Spectacled Warbler" bushes, we walked on in hope to get a view of the Thrush as re approach we could see the Thrush hopping up the bush it was in, views still distant and before I could get the scope set up, the three Fieldfare took off and the Thrush followed, it appeared to go down over Gun Hill.
We walked slowly up to the top of the hill and scanned around but had no joy in relocating, we walked around a little and while we were then discussing what way to walk around the dunes the Thrush called and was flying above us. It circled closely above us twice before it then flew directly south inland.
Although all views were brief we manged to note all of the id features on this cracking bird.
Lis done this wonderful drawing.
After this we carried on looking around the dunes and walked up to Holkham Pines and the Joe Jordan Hide. We saw 3 more Woodcock, Snow Bunting (which seemly went down a rabbit hole), 2 Crossbill, 3 Sparrowhawk, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Redpoll and a Brambling. I do feel that more migrants could of been out there, but they were to wet and tired they had to be nearly stood on before seeing them.
We did manage a 30min stint looking at the sea off Burnham and saw some nice Pomarine Skua's, Eider and Scoter.