As different as chalk is from cheese was our target bird from yesterdays. No bright showy colours, no high wire acts, in fact nothing to really make you notice it if you weren’t looking! Today we headed to Overstrand, up on the coast, hoping to see a female Red-breasted flycatcher. I had seen one just once before and for Ian it would be a life tick so we were both hopeful. The other one I had seen was the day I first decided that birding was for me, I had been out with Peter watching a Red-backed shrike when on route back to the car the flycatcher appeared!
On the cricket pitch at Overstrand the message said, behind Leslie Curtis bench and sure enough there it was!To be honest when we first saw her she was in a tree but it was later she landed on the bench, I don’t know who Leslie was but I like to think he might be pleased to have such a visitor!
She was an active little bird, in a tree, on the fence, in a shrub, on the floor this little bird liked variety! So although she is not a spectacular looking bird she was fun to watch and a sweet little thing.
Before leaving home, if we are going after a certain bird I like to have a look in Collins Bird Guide so I at least know what I am looking for. One thing it said about the flycatcher was that it likes to cock it’s tail a lot and let me tell you the book was correct!
We watched her, along with a small group of birders, for about half an hour when along came a Robin and chased her off! We stayed a while but she didn’t return while we were there and so far I have not heard that she did at all so we were pleased that we went when we did.
Later we enjoyed a walk along by the sea at Sherringham, the day had warmed up nicely and thankfully turned out much better than the BBC would have had us believe!
One of the many things I love about being out and about is seeing how other people enjoy the same places that I do but often in very different ways. Below are two example of people having fun in their way doing things I wouldn’t even contemplate!
Now this might have been the end of today’s blog if it weren’t for Peter asking us to do a favour for him. As we were heading to the coast he had asked if we could pop into Birdscapes (a lovely art gallery in Glanford near Cley and well worth a visit!) to collect something for him, no trouble at all and it turned out we were richly rewarded! Whilst there we were told of a place that is good for Nightingales a bird that I have tried and tried to see but failed over and over again. Just as it used to be said that children should be ‘seen but not heard’ nightingales are so often ‘ heard but not seen’ not today we got one. So thanks for that Peter!
After only about an hour of listening and watching something moved and yes it was a much wanted Nightingale, at last I can add it to my list.
So now our year bird list stands at 215, 15 of those are life ticks for me, not bad say I!