Monday 27 September 2010

Pitta Patter!

What a beautiful day and I'm not just talking about the wall to wall sunshine, blue sky and very light SE'ly wind!! Morning census was effectively just a very nice walk, except for Simon who found a Hornemanni Arctic Redpoll on Hoini whilst trying to relocate a Red-throated Pipit that had just flown over him. I had a few Pied Flys and Goldcrests in the north plus a Yellow-browed Warbler and the Buff-bellied Pipit still at North Light. However, it all kicked off after lunch. I'd got as far as Furse on my way back north when my phone rang. It was Hol "Rob's found a Red-flanked Bluetail in the Gully!" Awesome! Everyone assembled at the top of the Gully and watched as it flitted about, flycatching around the conifer at the entrance to the trap. After half an hour I ran the trap, caught it and briefly showed it to the admiring crowd. After ringing it was released into the Obs Plantation. An hour later news was circulated that there was another one at the Mast!! I meanwhile was at Easter Lother chasing a large pipit but it was extremely wary and flighty so I couldn't get anywhere near it. I texted the AWs who duly arrived with 'scopes, just as I had to leave for plane duty! After the plane I walked briskly up to the Mast to join the elite group who have now seen two Red-flanked Bluetails in Britain on the same day! This second bird was duller than the first - a first-winter female? Whilsty watching this I phoned Si to see if they had relocated 'my' pipit. They had and it's a Richards Pipit! With that sorted, after the 2nd Bluetail I decided to spend the last hour before tea/dark checking the ditches in Vatnagaard and Suka Mire. I turned up two Bluethroats. Birds were obviously coming in all afternoon and final totals at log of 15 Yellow-browed Warblers, 5 Bluethroats and 95 Song Thrush were beaten by the 120 Brambling - some of which ended up in the ringing room as the light faded and they came to roost at the Obs Plantation.
This evening we were treated to a colourful slide show from Chris Gooddie about his quest to see all the Pittas of the world  in a year. It was thoroughly enjoyable and those birds put our Bluetails to shame! Anyway, its been a long, tiring but exhiliarating day and I don't have the energy to sort out photos so you'll have to wait for pics of Bluetail! G'night!

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