I have done some brutal and ridiculous twitches by public transport, but this could be one of the hardest I have ever done. Usually a coach overnight involves a trip of a few hours where I arrive at my destination in the morning ready to begin having slept on the coach, but with this one I had to change at Birmingham at 3.00 in the morning. It took its tole and by the end of the day I was very worse for wear.
The bird I went for, a Blue Rock Thrush, a male of uncertain age and uncertain origin. Its worth stating from the off that there is no guarantee that this bird will get accepted, and I happen to be in the school of thought that think it won't. I do however think it is a wild bird, regardless of the decision, and whatever it is, its a rather stunning bird and well worth going for a look at in my opinion.
Upon arrival at the site where the bird was, a housing estate in the Cotswolds, I was greeted to the news there was no sign, and since it had already been light for two hours and the bird usually shows first thing, I began to have my doubts about seeing the bird. These were no eased as over two hours passed with ample birders on site looking and still no sign of the bird. I did get a Waxwing as some compensation, but at the time it felt like something of a lost cause.
It was half 11 when it was finally located, just as I had lost all hope of it been seen, considering it predated overnight or otherwise. It was on the rooftops of the houses in a small parking lot. There was a thin fog in the air and it made viewing conditions less than optimal, but there was no doubt as to the birds identity. It stayed there for a short while before it flew off towards its usual spot in the main part of the estate.
This was its pattern of behavior for the rest of the afternoon, with it frequenting the parking lot but remaining mobile and frequently moving to other areas. The light did improve during the afternoon so I was able to get some decent shots. Sadly though my phone died, meaning I could only use my DSLR, no phone-scoping insurance for poor SLR photos. In the end though the bird put on a good show, hopping about the rooftops in great fashion, really good value to watch and well worth going for, regardless of the outcome of its origins.
-Blue Rock Thrush
Stow-on-the-Wold: Waxwing, Collard Dove, Woodpigeon, Robin, Blackbird, Blue Rock Thrush, Dunnock, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Starling, Feral Pigeon,