Monday, 3 October 2016

Birthday at the Cape

Dropped the kids then on to Flamborough for my birthday birding sesh. Holmes Gut first up where I bumped into Jim Morgan ringing. He had trapped three Yellow-browed Warblers already and almost to prove a point, one called loudly from the willows nearby!

I headed into the Gut but apart from the noisy little sprites, a Lesser Whitethroat, three Blackcaps and a Redwing, all was quiet. A little later Tony rang, so after a quick walk round North Landing - nada - I drove over to the lighthouse to hook up with him. From here we did the Old Fall loop. Yellow-brow in the sycamore by the car park, Whinchat in the Gorse Field with a mystery bunting which flew before we could scope it (but probably just a Reed), several Yellow-brows in Old Fall Plantation, and after a few minutes the Red-breasted Flycatcher showed well on the south side. Some birders had been looking for it for an hour or so, so were quite pleased when I pointed it out to them. There were a couple of Chiffchaffs here that were calling oddly and were very pale with lime green wing edgings and tail, possibly Abietinus. Their underparts were silky white, and in some respects looked Bonelli-esque, save for the strong face pattern and black legs. A Spotted Flycatcher sallied from the tops of the sycamores. Nice. We celebrated with a cold can of beer. Well, it is my birthday!

 This is what Old Fall birding is like! Spotting tiny, leaf-coloured leaf warblers, among the leaves.

Presumed Abietinus Chiffchaff.

We walked back the way we had come, failing to see much else. We checked the bay brambles area to no avail so opted for South Landing, via Milennium Wood, where we dipped a Little Bunting that had been showing just before we arrived. Not very fair on my birthday! We did however see a Peregrine cavorting with a rather bored looking Buzzard and more excitingly, we flushed a Tree Pipit which called in disgust as it flew away into the distance. We pondered whether it could have been an OBP, as the call didn't seem quite right for Tree, but we were probably just wishful thinking. This isn't the first time I had had a Tree Pipit/OBP scare on my birthday - see here.

It is also not the first Little Bunting I have dipped recently at Flamborough!

We checked out South Landing for half an hour which revealed a couple of noisy Yellow-brows and a solitary wheezing Brambling, but nothing else. I said goodbye to Tony, and went home. Top day.

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