Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Beeley - Dusky Thrush!!!

Mike Stokes had dipped the Margate bird in 2013 and I'd been unable to try but we were both hoping to put those demons behind us with a particularly showy first winter Dusky Thrush in Beeley Derbyshire......

The Orchard in the Dukes Barn Outdoor Activity Centre seemed to be the place for closest views and the crush for prime position reflected that!! This was about 8.30 on arrival....


I sensed my aim was to get to the front of this little gathering but in the meantime both Mike and myself joined one of the dashes to get the distant view in the bag and many thanks to Alison Allen for letting me nail it through her scope (now 9.15)  - it could have been my only tickable view of the day!!


I returned to the orchard mayhem which was now calming a little and after nearly an hour or so, reported sightings across the area sparked a few departures. I inched my way forward and finally..... Yay goth there!! Now where's the Thrush??!



It was doing a big circuit of the area and returned at 10.15, briefly landing in one of the nearby trees....


Before flying down to the windfall apples and commencing to feast on these.....


It perched up briefly in one of the apple trees giving the views of the day (for me) pics at the end!




It was difficult to get the Dusky completely in the open due to the length of the grass but this brief rear on shot signalled another departure!


There had been a couple of returns to the orchard where it was largely behind the brushwood pile or obscured by branches and with frozen feet, I had to wait until 2.00 for the best views of the day!


It was now less than 20m away and about to tuck into this apple....




Not exactly frame fillers but generous crop worthy!


 And here's the Dusky Thrush, perched up in an apple tree - cracking views!!


In the scheme of things, poor light and limited opportunities, I'm have to be pleased with these :-)


And with no Tunnocks to hand, break out the festive season slice of Stollen to celebrate!!!


Wonder if I'll get a chance to savour another one of these before the end of the year?

Lots of friends present too, lots of catching up.....

Oh and a BIG thank you to the locals who embraced the invasion with 'welcome' birder menu at the local pub and the Dukes centre providing bacon sarnies, punnets of chips and tea / coffee all day. A magic day with a crippling bird.....

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