Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What have I become?
The occasional twitch is definitely good for you but today I went mad with 3 twitches in one day. With 3 quality birds over in Yorkshire and Lincs but some distance apart we decided to try and see all three in one day.I left Merseyside at 6 am after picking up Billy and Chris and was at Grainthorpe Haven about 8.45 am to see the Steppe grey shrike. Such a confiding bird and great views as it flew about feeding close by. At one point flying over our heads and landing on a sign post 10 feet away.Only 20 or so birders here today. We left about 9.45 and it was on to Bilsdale in north yorkshire.
It was about a 3 hours drive to the layby at Garfitts farm but the drive along Bilsdale was a delight with stunning scenery on this late autumn day. A long walk up the track to the farm was well worth it as the two barred crossbill showed very well in the front garden on the peanut feeders and in the surrounding trees. What a stunning bird this male was and definitely the bird of the day for me.
We left here at 1.40 pm to head for the east coast just south of Filey.
This part of the journey took 90 minutes and we were parking up at Reighton sands holiday park at 3.15. There was about 15 birders wandering about but no sign of the Pied wheatear. We walked along the cliffedge were we were told it had been seen this morning but no sign. The light was starting to go and it didn't look good. I looked at the site and said to myself where would you expect to see a northern wheatear here. A service road that led away from the toilet block up the hill and around the top end of the caravan park looked a likely spot. I headed over to that area and there it was sitting on a bench behind a caravan. I alerted the other birders some of which were getting into their cars ready to leave and all had good views in the fading light. Not the prettiest bird this female pied wheatear but was still an interesting bird on the identification front. A fine end to a very successful day.
We left here at 4pm and arrived back on merseyside around 7.15 after clocking up 540 miles. With over 10 hours in the drivers seat it was nice to get home and have a nice cup of tea. Does this mean I'm a twitcher? I don't think so. I only cracked after the birds being present nearly a week . These were 3 new birds for me which was great but I much preferred finding the ring billed gull at prescot res yesterday.

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