Sunday, 15 October 2017

Pwll-du Rock Thrush on Friday afternoon twitch

Rock Thrush looking down at a growing audience
Nicely posing

Pwll-du hillside
Scope views were excellent but shots with camera was difficult
The Captain looking for a captive audience for his Albatross story
Interesting Fungi 

ID welcome please

The phone made that dreaded noise on Thursday afternoon and review showed a Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush had been found near Abergavenny. A check on Twitter revealed photographs by more than one birder so it was all systems go. A dental appointment kept me from going on Thursday so a planned was hatched to start early at work then go late morning upon positive news.

A clear night & no early news indicated the bird had moved on, however at 11.15am news emerged it had been re found. A quick scoff of the Friday morning cooked sandwich & change of clothes and I was bound for Upton Warren ready to be picked up by @1stbirdoftheday. 

The journey down the M5 took about ninety minutes and thankfully there wasn't any parking issues as we snatched a place in an ideal location. The walk took about 15-20 minutes dodging the puddles on the rough gravel patch to the edge of an old quarry. The views were stunning adding some extra pleasure to the trip. On arrival the news was the bird hadn't been seen for 20-30 minutes. After trying a couple of different area's we decided on the best place to scan from. This position came up trumps as we found the bird sat on one of the large rocks after a short flight view. I even managed to get a few distant record shots. There were about 50 birders present that kept increasing as we ended our stint. Those arriving as we left had to deal with driving rain on top of the very strong winds.

The male bird was certainly not in summer plumage when seen in the Mediterranean however it seemed most comfortable among the rock crevices on top of the escapement. You have to take your hat off to the finder of this super bird in this remote location. The same location produced a Marmora's Warbler in June 2010. This was certainly a species I didn't expect to see in the UK and comes on the back of the Blue Rock Thrush. Other sightings included the Captain from north Wales, two Wheatear & a number of Meadow Pipits. It's not been a bad Autumn has it ?

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