Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Dipping the Western Bonelli's Warbler at Church Norton

I left home this morning at silly o'clock and drove 115 miles to Church Norton with the hope that I might connect with a Western Bonelli's Warbler that has been in the Churchyard for a couple of days.
This is a bird of Western Europe that's somehow found itself on the south coast and more importantly for me it would be a lifer!

I parked in the churchyard car park and walked through to Pagham Harbour where the mist was heavy and visibility was really poor. I found the hide and spent the next four hours searching for the Bonelli's without any joy. I saw plenty of Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, Blackcaps and Whitethroat, Cuckoos and Woodpeckers but no Bonelli's apart from a very possible fly by which evaded the binoculars so remains a frustrating.....was that it? (Small clear white underparts, grey / green back with a hint of yellow....what else?)

On the beach I had Wimbrel and a Little Tern (213) gave me a year tick as a consolation prize for the trip.
A lot of miles, a long time searching with the other birders who'd come out for this target and a long drive home which always seems longer when you dip.
This tick is for another day but for now the bird has been added to my dipped list.

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