Blyth Spirit reaches the A Team.13/14th December 2014.

Posted: December 15, 2014 in Bird Watching, Twitching
Tags: , , , ,

Way back in 1994 myself and Bob K were lucky enough to see a Blyth`s Pipit at Landguard Point, Suffolk. The bird was catching “blue-bottles” (thanks Brian) and showing very well most of the time and was thought to be only the second record of this species recorded in Britain. When local birder Jonny H found a strange pipit on his patch near Pugneys N.R, in Wakefield, he quickly realised that the bird was another Blyth`s Pipit and a first for Yorkshire! He found the bird during the week so most of our crew were not able to go for it until the weekend, so an anxious wait followed. The bird was remaining faithful to a watery meadow inside a business park and overlooked by the headquarters of West Yorkshire Police. All other “A Teamers” needed to see the bird as a lifer. Our Christmas get together on Friday evening for beer and a curry produced a few headaches but did not put Chris B off from going to Wakefield on Saturday morning. Chris connected with the bird almost upon arrival and obtained good flight views and the distinctive calls were heard. The finder was on site to walk the area to flush the bird every hour or so to save the bird any undue stress of lots of birders milling around its favoured feeding area. Sunday morning saw myself, Steve B and Steve K waiting for news of the bird, that was put out around 9-15am that it was still present. We met at 10am and arrived on site by 11am and the bird had been seen in flight at 10-30am as a Red Kite had flown over the area and flushed the bird, but the pipit had landed in the deep grassy area. At 11-30am the finder went into the watery area and after flushing 4 Grey Partridge, Snipe & 4 Meadow Pipit the Blyth`s Pipit took flight. Its tail appeared “twisted” and the call was quite different to the smaller Meadow Pipits that also flushed up. We all had a good, if brief views of the bird. A further 3 times the bird flew and better sightings were had. We left around 12-35pm and headed for home. The bird did show perched up and on the ground later in the day as the wind decreased. The journey home over the Pennines on the motorway was like driving in a fish tank as the rain lashed us around!

Dave O.


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