Sunday, 11 December 2016

Up long before dawn to see a dusky!

I had a very pleasant day twitching the Dusky Thrush in Beeley today. The offer of a seat in a car was too great to resist so four of us got up at an ungodly hour (at this time of the year!) and were in the Peak District watching a Dusky Thrush by 8am!
We saw the bird as soon as we arrived which was lucky as it then went missing for an hour and a half, in which time we searched the small town of all likely spots, there were hundreds of redwings about, but we failed to re find the bird. On returning to the adventure playground where the thrush was best viewed from, a shout came from the neighbouring field, the bird showed well in the open for around five minutes, but was a little distant. It then flew straight towards and past us showing us its subtle differences in flight shape (longer tailed and slightly stockier than redwing). It flew into the orchid where it gave the best views of the day, there was a little bit of a scrum, but everyone got to see the bird feeding on the fallen apples at fairly close range, the light was pretty awful and many heads and bamboo canes got in the way regularly, but I managed a few poor grainy out of focus shots for the record. After this we walked back to the car park, seeing a dipper in the river on the way back for an extra bonus bird.

The twitch itself was one of the more bizarre- we arrived to signs directing us to the 'birders carpark' where we duly parked, a specially put on shuttle bus then took the birders from the car park 1km down the road to where the bird was showing, where we followed arrows labelled 'bird'! On passing the hot drinks stand, toilets and sausage/bacon bap stand we found the playground. The first proper amusement came when the birders had to cross a wooden see-saw bridge to get to the viewing platform/wall a scene which certainly put a smile on my face, even with a 4am start.

Great bird, great twitch and money raised for a good cause, my fourth UK tick of the year (BOU 411)








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