Thursday, 13 October 2016

SIBERIAN ACCENTOR - Lightening does strike twice!

Quite a day!
Left the house at 5.45am after taking the lad out in a deluge. He didn't want to go!
Arrived at Flamborough at 7.00am and made my way to "the site". Gavin was already there plus a few others. We scanned the field and bushes as the light improved...slightly. Steve Lawton then turned up and had my hat and gloves from the EASTERN KINGBIRD dip...they came in VERY handy. Then, an Olive-backed Pipit was claimed and most of the group followed the bird. We stayed put as it wasn't our priority. A minute later we were looking at the PADDYFIELD WARBLER some 20 yards away, on the path that led through the field! A Yorkshire tick! Tim Isherwood also clawed this one back. We saw the bird on and off for the next hour before moving around to Old Fall. My best view was my first on the path. I have a distant record shot from the hedge...
Gavin saw the 5 Shorelarks but they had disappeared when I got there.
The weather was brutal at times with violent squalls. It did allow some amazing views of groups of Goldcrests being blown around like leaves! While sheltering from the wind our group which included Dave Hursthouse and Gary Taylor discussed the number of SIBERIAN ACCENTORS that were turning up on the near continent with one arriving in Denmark today. Could we get another? More later.
I had to get back to the car park for 12.30 as my time was up. I said goodbye to Gavin who was heading for Spurn to try for the Radde's Warbler. I headed for the café for a sausage and mushroom bap followed by a scone...very nice!
I was tempted to have another look at the PW and try again for the Shorelarks but I had to head home for Bud. I'd just left Brid' when a message changed it often does...
MEGA N.Yorks BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS reported flew north past Filey Brigg at 12.10pm
I placed myself on the north side of the Headland and scanned. I was the only one there. I'd been there around 20 minutes when the phone went. It was Gavin. It went something like this..."Al, there's a SIBERIAN ACCENTOR at Easington!!!" Pardon? It was a bit windy! The Albert was soon forgotten as I tried to negotiate my gear...and myself, back up the slippery cliff and over the fence. I sent a text to a few pals. Haydn (who was watching the PW) phoned me instantly..."are you taking the ...". He then turned to the crowd watching the bird and passed the news on! Didn't get much response as understandable scepticism ensued. "I'm off" he told them. I was now nearly back to the car. The news must have now hit the information services as there was a mass exodus from the PW twitch. They must have been convinced now! The car park was now a very lively place to be, as you can imagine!
I made a decent pace from the car park but not as quick as some! My knowledge of the local road system has improved over the last four years enabling me to plot a fairly fast route to Easington once I'd left Brid'. The weather was still wild.
I arrived at Easington around 4.45. Haydn was just behind me, so I waited for him and we rushed to the site. The bird was on view immediately feeding "Dunnock like" on the old school playground around a yellow skip! The light was poor and the bird obviously wet but it showed brilliantly to everyone at very close quarters.
My camera decided it wanted to be set at 6400 ISO so I'm afraid the pics are...unusual! I'll chose one at random to prove I was there...
Has a certain appeal?
Never imagined a SIBERIAN ACCENTOR would be "just" a Yorkshire tick! Hope that doesn't sound smug...because it's not meant to. It's a fact! A similar thing happened with BOBOLINK in 2001. I saw the Devon bird at Prawle Point only for one to turn up at Spurn a couple of weeks later! Who's to know?! Get 'em while you can, if there's another...fine... see that one as well!
There'll be plenty of excellent images about I'm sure and as you know, I got some "last time".
Well, what an amazing turn of events! Spurn strikes again...what a place!
It's great to be able to enjoy them (well, some of them) these days without time pressures. At least for this Autumn anyway? It was great to see so many happy faces enjoying this great bird.
Am I slightly peeved having travelled to Shetland? Not at all. Especially pleased for Tony and Trevor who did the "hard yards" on the 12 hour Ferry...twice. Their elation must be doubled!! Haydn and Gavin scored two LIFERS while Steve also got two County ticks. Oh Happy Day!
An irruption or a trend...or something else? Who knows? What I do know is there's always a surprise around the corner in Birding. This was a particularly BIG 1!!!


Chopper said...

Good to hear you got the tick on your doorstep!
I'm heading back to Yorkshire (from Luz) next week so fingers crossed the run continues...


Chopper said...

Good work Alan! No Lammies but two Accentors...
Hopefully, will stay around, or other birds arrive, until I get there in a week or so.

Alan Whitehead said...

Good to hear from you Charles. Yes, an amazing double...FOUR now!!! Might bump into you along the Coast somewhere? I'll be in Holmpton unless something BIG breaks...which it almost certainly will!