Sunday, 19 February 2017

Trinity Hill - Little Bunting - Sun 19th Feb 2017

It's taken about 3 weeks, visiting the Reed Bunting roost, most days, on Trinity Hill, but today I finally got my reward with cracking views of the Little Bunting. When I say finally, I've managed to get glimpses and heard it call on a couple of my previous visits. But never good views. And what a stunning bird it is too, so different from the female Reeds which I've been grilling intently - A little corker! I really was beginning to think it would never show for me, although of course several birders have had good views, but it really is the luck of the draw. A difficult bird. I haven't added up the number of hours I must have spent. Last Saturday alone, I spent 6 hours patiently checking the flock as it moved back and forth, with icy snow flakes drifting down for most of the grey day. Absolutely freezing. But a very beautiful location and not without occasional rewards - Max 13 Snipe (today) but 9 and 4 on different dates, Buzzard, a few Yellowhammer, Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker, Meadow PipitBullfinch, Dunnock, Mistle and Song Thrush, Blackbird and Robin.
Thanks again particularly to James M @tentims for doing the legwork and turning up this Rare - hat's off to him (and Steve W @axebirder) for having the patience and persistence to find this wonderful winter visitor and to get the news out. Another good outcome for me is that because I've visited so regularly I've met some really nice new fellow Birders and finally got to meet for the first time some more of my longstanding Followers from the Twitterverse.

Fieldcraft: What did surprise me though was one particular Birder (out of 8 quietly watching at the time), who decided to push past the small crowd and stomp back to the car park along the middle track and through the bushes where the flock had been perching moments before, and where it had afforded good views the previous day. Apalling fieldcraft, causing disturbance to the birds and extremely discourteous to the other observers, some of whom had travelled a considerable distance and had yet to see the Little Bunting. An isolated incident though and personally I've found most of the Birders to be very patient and quiet, respecting the Reed Bunting flock and the other Birders, preferring to maintain a quiet vigil, waiting and checking the comings and goings of this loose flock.

So after the excitement of seeing the Little Bunting and to celebrate, I popped down to the Axe this afternoon to look at gulls - and was delighted to pick out a nice Mediterranean Gull in the roost with mainly Black Headed Gull near the tram sheds at Axmouth.

...and zoomed in, showing it is starting to get its summer plumage.

It was nice to see the Black Tailed Godwit beginning to get tones of their brick-red summer plumage too.

A really successful day and have to say quite a relief in the end to finally get such good views of the Little Bunting - a Lifer for me and so much better that it is only 4 miles from home.

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