Sunday, October 02, 2005

Pipit and Rosefinch save the day!

I spent the morning getting wet (“they said it would be dry”!) and seeing very little as I walked around Holkham, sifting through flocks of tits. I just had Treecreeper, a few Siskin to show for my troubles, no sign of any X-bills. I then sifted through 10,000 freshly arrived Pink-Feet but couldn’t find anything amongst them, the pager nagged at me continually, as it kept informing me that an elusive Tawny Pipit at West Runton, whilst elusive was still showing. I had felt sure it wouldn’t hang around, by 1.30PM the frustration and patience were wearing thin and I decided to head off for it – I still expected it to disappear by the tiem I arrived, it’s an hours ride minimum, and actually quite hilly once you are on the Cromer to Holt ridge.

The biggest issue was that I had decided to carry my manfrotto pod and Leica scope, by the time I reached Weybourne the panier arm secured to the seat stem was swinging dangerously side to side, and this also combined to make going uphill extremely hard going.

Now a Common Rosefinch had also turned up at Beeston bump, so I had just had to keep going!
Two more hills and I managed to get to the Rosefinch with a few fearful moments, and several attempts to secure the panier.

On arriving at the Rosefinch, hot, sweaty and bothered, I was informed that the bird had disappeared off up the hillside. “Just what I need” I thought to myself. Most present had seen it, and were now chatting “birds”. I hauled the scope and pod up, it was now to return the favour from my efforts of carrying it! A quick scan of the hilltops gardens and I had a pale plain finch feeding on blackberries, I was pretty sure that was it. Mark Ward & Robin Abel whom are also year listing had also arrived, fortunately Mark had a zoom and this enabled us to nail it………COMMON ROSEFINCH, excellent…….. just then it took off and flew down and landed in the elderberries right in front of us.

An SOS call and the possibility of a Norfolk tick for Jacky, enabled me to lighten my load. Jax arrived at Beeston, took the scope and pod off me and I found a new burst of speed as I headed for the Tawny Pipit.

I actually arrived shortly before Jacky, and we were very lucky as almost straight away the TAWNY PIPIT showed, I couldn’t believe it as the pager had suggested we might be waiting a few hours.
We must have seen it as well as anyone all day, it walked “wagtail like” around on the bare areas between the stubble and fallow areas. The ride home seemed a breeze with no gear to carry and two more NMY ticks under the belt!

232 species NMYL 66 miles on the bike,


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