Saturday, 24 October 2009

Eastern Crowned Warbler Mega

Just my luck. I go back to work after my autumn break, and within 48 hours, the news broke of the Eastern Crowned Warbler at South Shields. The previous Western Palearctic records have never stayed more than a day, so it was fingers crossed for the weekend.
The initial plan was to go with Colin and a friend from Amwell Jan Hein. Unfortunately, being Dutch, the lure of a Long Toed Stint in the Netherlands was too much for him.
We arrived after a pretty good run at 1000, to find several hundred in and around the quarry. The wind was a bit gusty, but luckily the heavy rain held off. I had cracking scope views and then spent the next hour attempting to get decent images (most of which seem to be blurred sycamore leaves, sometimes with a small green bird partly hidden). On a couple of occasions it posed quite well, but the low light meant I was shooting at iso 800, and the results even cleaned up show some noise.

We eventually left and headed south to Middlesborough. Just south of the new RSPB reserve at Saltholme, a pool held a very nice drake Blue Winged Teal, and the grass helped to hide a juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper. Neither were close enough to photograph.
We headed further south and over the North York Moors, hitting low cloud and rain and by the time we arrived at Bempton Cliffs, it had become very heavy. Despite this, we were able to get very good views-stunningly close at times of the Red Flanked Bluetail. The camera got soaked, and I could barely see through the viewfinder to focus, but the results were much better than I could have hoped for.


Stewart said...

A great day out there Phil, a proper clean up. Nice pics too...

Phil Bishop said...

Thanks. Don't get days like that very often.

Jason said...

Nice pics Phil. A bit gripped off i didnt/couldnt get off Shetland but hopefully there will be another, just up here.