Blue Rock Thrush and a meander home via a few goodies! 4 February 2017

Jus and I finally cracked and went for the long-staying Blue Rock Thrush in Stow-on-the-Wold yesterday! Arriving just as the light was reaching birdable brightness we went straight to Fisher Close and found the bird within about 2 minutes sat in a tree in the back garden of no.7. It quickly flew up onto the roof of the house briefly (giving us the closest views we got) before flying over our heads into an adjacent cul-de-sac. After that it spent all the time we were there on top of a chimney pot presumably warming itself on a bitterly cold morning! In between 2 visits during the morning we nipped to Bourton-on-the-Water some 10 minutes away to have a gawp at 4 Waxwings that showed very nicely on the corner of Moor Lane and Roman Way. There wasn't too much else to report from these sites except a Coal Tit, loads of Common Buzzards and 3 Red Kites as we nearer the Cotswolds.  
I'm still not sure how I feel about the origins of the Blue Rock Thrush. DNA analysis is ongoing but apparantly the far eastern race which accounts for virtually all captive ones has been ruled out. It just looks rather strange in its chosen surroundings despite not showing any plumage signs of captivity.

Blue Rock Thrush, Stow-on-the-Wold

Waxwings, Bourton-on-the-Water

After our mission in the Cotswolds was complete we began to meander our way back. Our first stop en-route was the village of Stoke Goldington just north of Milton Keynes. Here we found the spot at Missenden House on Dag Lane and the Tree Sparrows that were our target. We saw 6-8 but they were very shy and elusive preferring to stay in the cover of thick hedges most of the time. Also there was a Marsh Tit amongst the common tits visiting the feeders and a Common Buzzard over.

Tree Sparrows, Stoke Goldington

Common Buzzard, Stoke Goldington

Next up was Paxton Pits in Cambs where after a little while we located the female Ring-necked Duck on the huge new workings pit. 70 Pochard, c40 Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Sparrowhawk, 5 Red Kites, Snipe and Great Spotted Woodpecker rounded things off before we moved on to our final port of call.

Ring-necked Duck, Paxton Pits

After a flock of 12 Red Kites beside the A1 near Peterborough that final port of call was an area of rough scrub beside the River Welland at Deeping St Nicholas near Spalding in Lincs. It proved to be a lovely way to end a great day. With the sun sinking we had Great Grey Shrike, 5 Short-eared Owls, Barn Owl, 3 Goosander, Stonechat, several groups of Fieldfares and then at the death following a drive along the river 2 Little Grebes, 2 Little Egrets and a lovely close Great White Egret. The final raptor counts for the day were 16 Common Buzzard v Red Kite 20!

Short-eared Owls, Deeping St Nicholas

Great Grey Shrike, Deeping St Nicholas

Great White Egret, River Welland


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