Today, me and my good friend Pete headed off in the hope of the UK’s 2nd recorded Grey Catbird. After our Brown Shrike dip a few weeks ago I for one was a nervous wreck in case it had moved on. So once news broke as we were driving passed Whiddon Down on the A30, I heaved a huge sigh of relief. Despite getting caught up with 3 broken down vehicles near Hayle we made it to site in reasonable good time. We parked the car in the field that has been negotiated with the land owner and noted 2 crowds. One had congregated on the other side of the common and some at the bottom of the car park. We decided that the car park option seemed as good as any so made the short walk to the gathered onlookers. We had basically timed it to perfection as the bird was showing nicely and we both got rather good views. PHEW! pressure off and job done. We stuck around for around an hour and half and the bird showed a few times with some very nice views even though the bird was rather mobile. It didn’t sit up enough for me to both enjoy good views and to take a decent phone scoped photo. I didn’t manage a few but they are poor even to my crappy standards. Also on site were a Northern Wheatear that kept us on our toes as it was popping up where the Grey Catbird was favouring, a Male Eurasian Blackcap, Common Kestrel and Eurasian Skylark.
Orcombe Point, Exmouth, Devon
After I had dropped Pete off I decided I had enough time for a quick blip from Gore Lane to the coastal path and back. On arrival I was treated to great close views as a Female Peregrine Falcon flew over Gore Lane. There was a small flock of Common Linnet but nothing else of note. On leaving I noted that Matt Knott has arrived and was off doing his round. I got home and received a call off him asking if I was still on site as he had a Short-eared Owl. I advised I wasn’t and thanked Matt for the call and information, its always appreciated. Parents evening over ran so I didn’t get a chance to look but time permitting I may have a look before work but there is also he lure of Red-breasted Flycatcher in Sidmouth and a Barred Warbler at Dawlish Warren. Decisions, descisions. I think its safe to say that Autumn has kicked off!