Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Wilson's Phalarope, Red-backed Shrike and a Corncrake

Ha Ha the title got your attention, the gripping head shot probably helps also. Only problem with my Corncrake was that I also got to see, White-headed Duck, Marbled Duck and Bald Ibis...that's right it was at Pensthorpe.

But before my family day out, I had time to nip to Cley early morning and go see the Wilson's Phalarope I had heard it was showing well so felt it would be worth it.

From the moment we arrived the Wilson's Phalarope was showing well, but it did appear to be doing a lot of 'practice' flights taking off on its own accord for lengthy periods, at some points it seemed it never was going to come back.

We then popped to Walsey Hills and saw the Red-backed Shrike which was showing well but seemed to like sitting the wrong side of bushes.

On Saturday (14/9) I got to spend some of the day at the Patch. After a very wet and unproductive morning at Ebridge* I headed for Trimingham for a Sunny yet incredibly windy afternoon. I started with a Sea Watch producing only Singles of Arctic Skua and Great Skua and only a handful of Gannets.

After this a walk along the cliffs and woods. Both quiet so any bird would be a bonus. I spooked an odd looking bird from some Stubble which after 20mins of trying to relocate I realised it was actually a tail-less Skylark.

I then found a sheltered patch of Brambles where around fifty Common Nettle-tap were. I then watched as a Emperor Dragonfly proceeding to pick off well over half of the Nettle-tap moths.

I walked on and spent the rest of the afternoon chasing the bird below. The first time I saw it the bird flew past and the Rufous wings struck me as odd. I then noticed how clean the front of the bird is. Everything kept saying its just a dodgy Skylark in a really bad moult, but it still keeps playing in the back of my mind. I will be honest view the bird was extremely difficult as it was so windy. The bird didn't seem to behave the same as the other Skylarks around it always stuck to the cliff edge and path where as all the Skylark would fly off into the field when disturbed

I have asked a few friends since and they feel the same Skylark but not 100%. I have trawled the Net but couldn't find any pictures of any Skylarks looking like this. Below are some pics.
Note the speckle-less front
 the Rufous wing

The Patterned back but more important the tail feathers which would surly mean Skylark?

* The Morning at Ebridge not entirely unproductive as I got to see this Water Vole.

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