Sunday, 22 October 2017

OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT @ St Bride's....Siberian Lovelyness

Once again I got a bit lucky with my late afternoon Sunday stroll, opting for St. Bride's for the 2nd week running, and after checking on a seal pup on the beach, I decided to look for shelter behind the entrance to Cranford beyond the Pump House, and almost instantly flushed a bird from the long grass which perched on a tree branch just long enough for me to get my bins onto it and immediately suspect it was an Olive-backed Pipit.  I lost it and it seemed like an age for me to re-find it, but re-find it I did and my initial suspicions were confirmed.  Boom!  It was hard to see in the grass but it regularly popped up into low branches, on the wall of Cranford, and once on a rope suspended between 2 trees.  An absolute beauty.  As luck would have it James Roden appeared and was also able to enjoy this first record for mainland Wales (the previous 4 have all been on the islands I believe: Skokholm 1, Skomer 2 & Bardsey 1).

Directions: park by St. Bride's church, take the footpath through the wall by the Pump House (adjacent to the public toilet block) and the bird was in the grassy area to the right, overlooking Cranford house.  Approximate grid reference SM804107.

Just before dusk 2 Barnacle Geese flew over, heading south-west.