Saturday, 1 November 2014

Brotton - Eastern Crowned Warbler

I was the wrong end of the country when news broke and a fairly anxious 24 hour period followed! Ian Grant was up for a Saturday trip 'up north' and with Reevesy joining in we opted to miss the dawn scrum and set of at 7.00.....

At 7.24  precisely, we were all smiles, news had come out - still there!! By 10.15, we were there with just a short walk from the overflow car park at the golf course for the short walk to the plantation!

A nervy 20 minutes or so followed, we were assured it would return to a favoured sycamore but that doesn't always relax you? And when it did we were the wrong side (but rather quickly relocated!) Glimpses of it tucked in the foliage followed and then eventually - in clear view!! I'd never really got over not being in a position to go for the Durham bird so with smiles all round, we duly unblocked this rather nice little Eastern Crowned Warbler :-) moving on to 285 for the year!

Setting the scene - tightly packed galleries....

And just a camera or two in evidence?

The ECW was engaging in bursts of feeding activity with spells of simply sitting on a branch - nearly always out of view - but eventally I managed to get a clear view through a hole in the leaves...

OMG, it doesn't get better than this when twitching a mega with a packed gallery (I thought) but then it did!!

The sun came out and after what seemed like a eternity, feeding out of view, it emerged out in the open! Now that really brought the colours to life!

Neck extensions whilst weighing up the next appetising leaf!

Why was it favouring the sycamore(s) - there's a clue here.....

One more here, the underside of the leaves were full of food in the form of aphids :-)

I never did get one being plucked off :-(

Three images, which show all the id features nicely. I would have loved a head on / head bowed  shot of the crown stripe but it's clearly visible here! The grey head, Arctic-like supercilium, and long bill with dark upper mandible / orange lower.

The two wing bars, off white underparts and yellow green fringing to the flight feathers.

Not an angle I would normally choose but shows the pale yellow undertail coverts nicely!

The day wasn't finished either with a 30 min drive to Sleddale early afternoon, where three Rough-legged Buzzards (286) were waiting! Always distant they didn't really trouble the camera but at least a few record shots were forthcoming!

Quite a day and a big thanks to Ian for driving!!