Thursday, 22 December 2016

St. Asaph - Black-throated Thrush!!

A busy start to the week had scuppered any chance to get over to St Asaph and with Ian Grant having today free, we decided to team up... We arrived at 8.45 and with no sign by then, decided to concentrate on the area over the river (viewing from the football ground side) where Alex Jones had prolonged views the previous day! It seemed  like a lost cause as we walked the river bank but  at 9.30, a birder excitedly waving from  the west bank signalled that the day was about to kick into gear? The Black-throated Thrush was on view and we had clear views of it one of the gardens, for the next hour, the decision not to cross the river was vindicated as we had it more or less constantly in view for the next hour!! Mostly distant but occasionally coming closer...

The initial garden views whilst nothing special, ticked the Thrush for both of us!

Quite mobile, it flew left in front of the houses...

Until on a line with the New Inn pub, anyone thinking of going should bear that in mind as a pointer - it does favour the trees and bushes adjacent to this...

... and the stubble field to the south! (This pic was taken at dusk)

The highlights of the day were two prolonged views from the east bank of the river, firstly in one of the taller trees...


Followed by the most unlikely of encounters as we followed it upstream with three other birders. It briefly landed in some bankside vegetation and then dropped down to the river... for a drink!!

And then sidestepped into the water...

For a wash!! (I've not bothered posting most of these as they were just a total blur! There was no light here and despite racking the ISO up to over 1000, I never managed more than 1/100 sec shutter speed!

There were one or two 'keepers' however and despite the gloom, these were by far the best views of the day!


Just after taking these images, we were approached by a youngster with his parents on the bank? "What are you doing" he said... "Bird watching' I replied... "Why do you do that" he countered!

I have often wondered that myself... lol, but this next image sums it up - whether through Bins, scope or viewfinder, this IS why we do it

Black-throated Thrush well and truly on the UK list, quite a day to remember too with the final 45 minutes of daylight spent watching the Thrush in the stubble field south of the New Inn, viewed from the roadside next to it. Quite a view birders were savouring their only views of the day at that moment! It's not an easy bird and we were very very lucky but it is always 'somewhere' in the general area! We spent all day and followed a plan based on the Alex's 'experiences' - sometimes you make your own luck :-)

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