Saturday, 14 December 2019

Black-throated thrush at Whipsnade

I missed the Thrush yesterday when it was showing down to a few feet in the pig pen at Whipsnade as I was otherwise engaged at Westfield so having seen all the stonking images of the bird last night I decided I'd go first thing and see if it would do the honourable thing and stick around for me.

A welcome at the free car park
I joined a small que to pay and once relieved of my £26 entrance fee I walked hastily to the area of the pig pen and before I'd even stopped walking I was looking at my first ever Black-throated Thrush sitting in what I think was a Cotoneaster next to the pen. It was grey windy and raining heavy and the bird was mobile so as it flew off over the coffee shop we headed for a little cover to see out the worst of the rain.

Some of the crowd waiting for the Thrush to return
Redwing showed a little better than the Thrush today
Once the rain stopped we watched the bird return to the tree and drop briefly into the pen for a few seconds before flying high over the coffee shop again. The bird was reported an hour later further back beyond the next car park and on arrival I was able to locate the bird tucked into a distant bush much to the satisfaction of the few present. A call to the Jims made sure everybody back at the pen got the news and within a few minutes I was busy putting more people onto it. It seemed to prefer this area today and stayed distant eventually being lost to view around 1pm and as far as I know was not seen again all day.

Tucked in where I refound it away from the Pig pens.
And eventually gave great scope views to the crowd
It was great to meet and chat to many familiar faces again in what was on the whole a very warm twitch which must be raising a few thousand pounds for the ZSL and their work. Most members of the public showed interest and the zoo as you would expect warmly received the extra interest. Being at a zoo we took the chance to spend an hour or two wondering the grounds admiring a few exhibits.

Year list now 303
Life list now 411

Mara run free everywhere in the grounds
Red Panda
White Rhino
Magpies enjoying the open wounds a little too much
Whipsnade.....A home to Lions, Tigers and Bears
A good day with good company and a life tick to boot....that's what it's all about!
It was also nice to finally meet Anthony G too today  who looks to have been this years biggest year lister.

Red arrow first sighting today blue arrow last sighting today hope it helps if you're going for it

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