Sunday, 15 October 2017

Mad weekend with a certain Rock Thrush in Wales

I say mad but how mad?

With work commitments Saturday morning I had kept one eye on the news and with a mid morning sighting it was all systems go provided I could arrange things with my good lady. With that bridge crossed as I left work I contacted the Jims and arranged to meet them and we hit the M25 at 12.30 to make the 170 mile drive into Wales. As we drove up the news was still good and as we parked up the bird was again reported as showing well. On the walk down to the quarry  we passed people that had just left the bird and it wasn't until we arrived at the gathered group that we found out the bird had just flown.
We searched all over picking up a Black Redstart, Wheatear and a couple of Raven for our effort.
We hung around hoping the bird would return to it's roost site but only added a couple of bats to the day list before the long walk back in the dark followed by the long drive home.

Now this is the mad bit if the above wasn't mad enough.
I laid in bed thinking the weather would have kept the bird down and that there was a reasonable chance it would still be there but if I didn't go I'd never know. Having dragged the Jims up yesterday on a wild goose chase this time I'd go solo to keep the risk on just my shoulders. I got up at 4.30am and drove back up the M4 arriving at the Quarry for first light. The twitch was about thirty strong and with the group split and intent on searching it looked interesting. I searched the first Quarry then the rocky area beyond it then the second Quarry then as I was walking down to the third Quarry I saw two birders already down there showing signs of excitement with waving arms and running good indicators so I got another two birders interested and we set off with added pace.
As we approached two motorcross bikers came over the hill and spooked the bird before we saw it and it again had the feel of Saturdays dip but with a little work and the help of the gathering birders I eventually got on the target.

Rock Thrush 
Never close but showed well at distance
Rock Thrush and Robin
Rock Thrush 

I had decent views for an hour, enjoyed some good banter and was even gifted lunch by an especially friendly group from Yorkshire. I managed to get a string of other birders on the bird before leaving for the 170 mile drive home.

A great bird but with 680 miles covered in two days for it I suppose it needed to be good.
One I'll remember for a while.

Year list now 269
Life list now 382

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