Sunday, 23 October 2016

8 miles Humei

I walked a lot today. And I mean a lot. After dropping the family off at York station, I spent the day trudging round the Great White Cape looking unsuccessfully for accentors. The dearth of migrants made it a slog, though moments of magic such as the brief, trilling Waxwing in a Sycamore in Old Fall Plantation, or the flitting flock of Goldcrests moving like a flurry of leaves up the Old Fall hedge, made the effort worthwhile.

I was accompanied by Lunar who behaved well and gave me a bit of company, albeit the silent type. I walked from South Landing up to Old Fall, round the lighthouse and back. The highlight was a Waxwing, found trilling atop a large Sycamore, before heading inland. Very little else of note, save a few Blackcaps and a Chiffchaff or two. The only numerous migrant were Redwings. I spent a bit of time at Highcliffe Manor watching them feeding on the lawn. One bird looked good for Coburni, Icelandic Redwing, being very heavily streaked below, with a blackish crown, dark mantle and slight yellowy wash to the super:

This bird hopping about in the Bay Brambles the other day was much more typical of Iliacus:

As I headed back to York, I stopped at a red light in Bridlington. I checked my phone: Hume's Leaf Warbler, Thornwick! Yikes! This was a bird I really wanted to see in Yorkshire, particularly after the confusing Yellow-brow I had seen in Holmes Gut a couple of years ago, which had me worried for a while that it might be Humei  see here 

 I did a U-turn at what will always be called the 'Hume's Lights', and headed back to Thornwick.

It was getting cold and the light was fading, as were most of the happy throng who had seen the bird and were heading home. The remaining few birders including me began to think it had headed to roost, when suddenly the bird flew back into the thin line of Willows calling an explosive, Pied Wagtail-esque 'Ch-weee.' Awesome! For the next ten minutes or so, the little pale grey-green sprite showed occasionally as it moved quickly through the Willows. I managed a couple of brief but good views, although apart from the diagnostic call and general pallor, I could not have identified it on the views I had. A smart, and rather unexpected end to the day. Well done Simon Gillings, an old UEA acquaintance who found it.

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