I started by looking for the Isabelline Wheatear and the 'Maurus' Siberian Stonechat at Easington,but unfortunately after a good search it was apparent that both the birds had left overnight.All was not lost though,as news soon came over the radio that the 'Stejneger's Stonechat' was still present at the point,so that was the direction i headed in.
After parking up at the Bluebell and getting the gear packed for the long walk down the point,i was off.
I made a steady walk along the beach,past the breach looking along the way for the previous days Shorelark's,but no sight of them unfortunately and i thought to myself it was going to be one of those days.
A handfull of Brent Geese fed on the incoming tide around the narrows and after a brief conversation with Geoff,Gary and Stuart,they told me the Stonechat was still present and showing well.
After bumping into Daz again as on the last three weekends,the small assembled group split up to try and find the now elusive Stonechat.
After a short while i found the bird as it sallied after fly's from it's perch,but it certainly wasn't easy to get near.This scenario was far from the good views Geoff and the lads had described,but piece by piece after several views i could see the ID features which make this potential 'full' species so distinct.
It was interesting to note how the birds colouration changed with lighting conditions,it sometimes looking quite non-descript,particularly when seen from behind,with the mantle looking quite dark.But head on and in good light it was a different story with it's pale 'Super' and pale throat standing out well and in flight,the rusty buff rump patch,pale wing bars and almost translucent primaries really stood out as it carried on flycatching.This is my first sighting of this species/race and it is the most eastern breeding of the 'Siberian Stonechat' complex being found in Northeast Siberia.
After the gruelling effort in trying to get good views of the Stonechat,the return walk back to the car was a much more relaxed and enjoyable affair with highlights including a Northern Wheatear,35+ Redwing,20 Fieldfare and similar numbers of Goldcrest,some of the Crests and Redwing showed incredibly well as they foraged for food on the beach and were obviously newly arrived birds,what a privilege to see these superb birds in these surroundings feeding out in the open,instead of trying to see them in a leafy woodland.
Overhead a few migrants passed south and this included a couple of Grey Wagtail and at least 10 Brambling.
As i walked just passed the lighthouse,a small group of 30 Dark-bellied Brent Geese fed on the dropping tide and included 1 Pale-bellied bird in amongst them.I love Brent Geese,always so confiding and always allowing a relatively close approach,with their chuntering calls amongst the flock,just brilliant.
Eventually i arrived back at the car slightly worse for wear,but a final sighting in the form of a very confiding Snow Bunting showing down to a few feet at the edge of Sandy Beaches was a great way to end another brilliant visit to this cracking area for birding.
|Wheatear,Point Car Park.|
|Goldcrest,Point Car Park.|
|Pale-bellied Brent Goose,With Dark-bellied Brent Geese.|
|Pale-bellied Brent Goose.|
|Snow Bunting,Sandy Beaches.|
|Snow Bunting,Sandy Beaches.|