Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Is it - or Isn't It?

Tuesday October 13

Considering what a cold night it was and the strength of the chilly easterly wind, the moth catch at Natural Surroundings this morning was reasonable. The best for us was an Orange Sallow. A good gathering this morning, the Duffs back from Namibia and JG in loud attendance. K and M not there though.
After the usual refreshment gathering, Pam and I drove to Beeston Common via Cley Coastguards.  JG had seen Auks, three species of Divers and several Skuas this morning from the latter. One needed to stand out and scope. We didn't. Cold and unwelcome looking and Pam was not fit enough for the shingle let alone the wind.
Plenty of parking space in the Beeston layby, thank goodness. We set off on the trail leading to the pond area before Pam spotted a group of birders to the west of the path. Back to the layby and the short trail to the waiting birders. The giant lens group of eight were standing very near to the hawthorn bushes where the juvenile Isabelline/Daurian Shrike was perching before sallying forth to catch wasps. Despite the sneers and mutters of 'b. photographers', they didn't seem to cause the bird any distress at all, nor prevent it from behaving normally.
Pam and I joined the small group on the path, about 80 -100 metres away from the bird. DN who'd dipped on the way to moth-ing this morning, joined us, leaving the near group. T and J had been and gone. David had seen Redpoll and Linnets fly over but nothing else. So many good birds in Norfolk over the weekend and yesterday. Red-flanked Bluetail, Radde's Dusky and Blyth's Reed Warbler to name a few.
After enjoying scope views, I decided to try some phone scoping. Poor light and an active bird was not conducive, but what the heck......

Then I turned the zoom up on the scope.

 There are some fantastic photos of this bird posted on line. If it stays and we get some sun, I shall be tempted to return.
ONE putative Daurian Shrike has recently been accepted by the committee, that in Fair Isle a few years ago. This, if accepted would be a first for Norfolk. Some birders think that all the 'Isabelline' Shrikes we see here are Daurian.

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