Monday, 12 October 2015

An Appointment at Mistley and with a Yellow-browed Warbler

29th September 2015

Time for my second visit of the autumn to Mistley to see what the waders were up to, and first a quick visit to The Quay to see if any winter ducks had arrived. None yet so straight on to The Walls to make ourselves comfortable whilst watching the waders come close on the incoming tide. Andy had brought along a couple of chairs so that we were able to select a a fairly well-concealed spot on the beach and sit it out in comfort. Although there were no winter ducks at The Quay, there were a pair of Wigeon bobbing up and down in the waves just off the beach.

The main difference from my last visit was that the large flocks of Black-tailed Godwits had been replaced with large flocks of Redshank. Black-tailed Godwits were still present but were concentrated off Manningtree near the mouth of the estuary and could be seen from our camp as they wheeled around as the tide came in..

The Redshank had mainly finished feeding and were huddled in groups on small islands of mud until that island became covered, at which point they would to another closer to shore.

Eventually one or two birds broke away from the others and started to feed again providing great opportunities for some shots.

By now, although still 2 hours from high tide, the water was lapping up the beach and all the Redshank had flown on to the other side of the River Stour where there is little public access and they can roost without disturbance. So now on to Walton-on-the-Naze for a rendezvous with a Yellow-browed Warbler.

The day before no less than 7 Yellow-browed Warblers had been seen/heard at Walton and so we were fairly optimistic. We made our way down to the central Sycamores where most of the birds had been seen and waited. One had been calling non-stop just 10 minutes ago, showing briefly, but had now gone silent which didn't help. To make things worse on the movement stakes, there were also Chiffchaffs present, which were more accommodating than the YBW.

But finally I got a glimpse of a mega supercilium, and although buried deep in shade, I was able to grab a couple of fairly rubbish shots...........but good enough to say "I WAS THERE!!!!!"

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