Sunday, 29 January 2017

Skinningrove twitching Eastern Black Redstart

Working during the week has now reduced me to a weekend twitcher. Having been for the White-billed Diver yesterday I decided to have a look north for the Eastern Black Redstart thats been wintering on the south side of Tees. Its not a species, and is something I have seen before but that previous time the light had faded badly, and its just something I wanted to see.
Once I arrived on site it took a few minutes before the bird appeared, but once it had come out from the rocks it started showing obscenely well at incredibly close quarters on the rocks less than two meters in front of me. There were only a few other birders there so we were able to really get to grips with the bird and for me, try to learn as much about it as possible.
Its a cracking bird to say the least, one of the best I have ever seen and the way it behaved was fantastic. It gave me the chance to experiment with my photography, allowing me to test all my camera set ups;
Phonescoping...
-Eastern Black Redstart
Digiscoping...
-Eastern Black Redstart
and DSLR set up...
-Eastern Black Redstart
I have learnt not to trust my DSLR as it struggles to get things in focus. However it performed much better today, probably as a result of the bird being so close to us. The light was a big problem as the bird was always in shade, but as the afternoon drew on it did improve a little.
As for the supporting cast, it was very good. With the Redstart on the beach was a pair of very bold Stonechats and a flock of Turnstones that were equally confiding. On the cliffs behind us was a small colony of Fulmar and a Peregrine flew through. It was a really pleasant afternoon out birding. 
-Turnstone
-Stonechat
On the way back I got off the bus in Redcar and went to have a look at the Velvet Scoter flock off the cinema. In total I counted eleven birds diving around among the roost gulls. Its the first time I have properly seen these birds on the sea through my new scope, and not through my old scope. A nice way to wrap up the day, a fantastic days birding out in the north east.
-Velvet Scoter
Species List:
Skinningrove: Grey Heron, Eider, Red-throated Diver, Eastern Black Redstart, Robin, Rock Pipit, Stonechat, Dunnock, Pied Wagtail, Turnstone, Oystercatcher, Fulmar, Jackdaw, Peregrine, Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, 
Redcar: Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, Turnstone, Oystercatcher, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull,

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