A true mega - Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin at Stiffkey, 17 October 2020

They don't come a great deal rarer - the first UK record since 1980 and the first twitchable one since 1963! It's already being called Norfolk's 'Bird of the Century'

I was still in bed when the news broke but was up like a shot and hastily making excuses as I left Belinda laying there! Deciding to cut through the city as it was reasonably early was a good call and I was up at the coast in double quick time. It was parking mayhem in the Greenway at the western end of Stiffkey village but I kept driving down towards the carpark and luckily managed to find a bit of verge to sling to car up onto. I was greeted with the sight of masses of birders just starting out across the saltmarsh. The bird had flown out to an area near the wooden bridge ealier and been lost to view. Until that moment the tide had been too high to walk out and look for it but now it had receded and it was 'game on'. After much sploshing and dyke-skipping I reached the clump of sueda it had chosen. Luckily it was on the far side of a big creek so there was no danger of flushing. Within about 10 minutes it flicked up on the top of the bushes only to flop down again a second later fanning it's tail as it did so. Brief but Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin was in the bag! Making a long walk almost back to the carpark and out again I gained access to see the other side of the sueda clump and this was the side the bird preferred. Over the next couple of hours it showed intermitently and at times really nicely before returning to the depths of the vegetation, presumably to feed. It looked slightly bedraggled but was active enough, regularly flying short distances and cocking it's white-tipped rufous tail. It was a grey eastern bird of the race 'syriaca' a bird I am familiar with from several trips to SE Europe and the Middle East.

Apart from the bird itself it was a great occasion and crowds like of which have not been seen in Norfolk for many a long year.

On the way home I popped in to Whitlingham CP to see some fungi - in particular the bizarre White Saddle which I'd been given directions to. Also there I paid a visit to the regular clump of Wrinkled Peach and also saw a few Death Caps nearby.

                                                                                                                       Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin
                                                                                                              Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin twitch

                                                                                                                                    White Saddle

                                                                                                                                     Wrinkled Peach

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