Monday, 12 December 2016

Beeley, Peak District, Dusky Thrush - 11th December 2016

Another early start, this time in order to head off towards Beeley where the Dusky Thrush has been quite reliable. The drive up was tortuous, particularly a very long section of roadworks with a reduced speed limit. It was after 11am by the time we were eventually there and failed to get a decent look at the bird that departed its usual patch of Hawthorn just after we arrived. We staked our claim to a spot on the mud, close to the dry stone wall that encompassed the small orchard where the thrush has been seen. There were plenty of people that had already seen it, but in the gloomy light some wanted better photographs, a video (the hope of one particularly optimistic individual) or just a better view. As we waited there were several exclamations that the bird had been spied only to be later dismissed as a Redwing.

It was seen briefly, not by us, before it disappeared to eventually take flight from a Holly tree making a diagnostic call, very different to the Redwings present. So, we pinned our hopes on 2pm. It had been seen on the ground, on the previous day, in the rain at that time. 2pm came, and went. Still no bird. Some 20 or so minutes later, Chris called 'that's it' as a bird arrived across the wall opposite - and it was! The bird stayed in the Hawthorn, feeding then preening. It was partially hidden behind twigs, and didn't drop onto the ground while we watched - so only record shots was possible.

Dusky Thrush