Monday, 28 May 2018

More Holy Island...

Yesterday morning we visited the patch, and the coal road pools were still really good with the waders including Pectoral Sandpiper, Greenshank, Knot and Little Stint, and the Glossy Ibis and 2 Whooper Swans were also around still.

On the east edge of Druridge Bay Country Park, we discovered an unusual warbler singing from some thick scrub. Despite being there for around an hour, it never showed itself, and we were not sure of its identity. This morning I've had the chance to go through some of my recordings, and along with some advice from others, we are almost certain it was a Marsh Warbler, albeit not in full song.

After having some lunch, we decided to get back out and make the most of the good weather and good birding, so we headed back up to Holy Island, as a number of good birds had been reported from there.

The Vicar's Garden was the first place we looked, and eventually the Marsh Warbler there did show itself quite well, although wasn't singing. After seeing 3 Whimbrel fly over, we walked round to the Crooked Lonnen, and the male Red-backed Shrike was sat on bushes and fences to the north. A great looking bird and my first spring Red-backed Shrike in the county since 2013!

Next we walked up the Straight Lonnen, and our third Marsh Warbler of the day was singing in a hawthorn just to the north-east. Although harder to see than the one on the Vicar's Garden, this bird did show occasionally.

Just south of the Excavations we discovered a Whinchat and 3 Wheatears, and eventually located a female Red-backed Shrike sitting unobtrusively on some hawthorns.

With a Red-breasted Flycatcher, 2 Marsh Warblers, 2 Red-backed Shrikes, Icterine Warbler, Pied and Spotted Flycatchers and a Whinchat, the last two days on the island have been really good, and reminded us just why the island is such a good place to go birding!

Marsh Warbler in the Vicar's Garden
Marsh Warbler singing north of the Straight Lonnen

Male Red-backed Shrike (phonescoped)
Female Red-backed Shrike

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