Thursday, 6 April 2017
Blue Rock Thrush
News today of a Blue Rock Thrush, found just below the Belle Tout lighthouse on Beachy Head. I couldn't decide if I should go or not. I really wanted to see the bird but I am becoming more and more averse to any form of twitch.
I finished off a few jobs I had been doing, had some lunch, but in the end my curiosity got the better of me. I then did the hours drive over to Beachy Head thinking - stupid, you should have gone as soon as you saw the reports.
Fortunately the bird was still there and the twitch wasn't too big, probably around fifteen people. It was feeding on the ground, mostly in the shaded areas and then perching up in the surrounding trees and in particular in one favoured Ash sapling.
The light was good and the bird was showing well but the problem with any twitch is that you have to keep your distance. The bird did not seem to be that concerned about the people. One person, on their own and taking their time to approach, could have got some superb pictures without disturbing it.
So is this the Stow Blue Rock Thrush on its way back to the continent or a second bird in the country. I don't really know but the timing looks right, the location would seem to fit in with a route back to the European mainland, and the bird did seem to be unfazed by the people present. Perhaps it is used to having its picture taken.
Wherever it came from I am just glad I did not make the trip up to Stow. Beachy Head in the sun was a better location to see it than in a housing estate in Stow.
On the way home I made a quick stop to look at the Kittiwakes on the cliffs at Seaford Head.
Their nesting sites, on the narrow ledges of the crumbling chalk cliffs, always look so precarious.
I am pleased I went. Any doubts I had about the Stow bird not being a genuine vagrant have now been dispelled. Definitely genuine!!!!