Friday, 4 May 2012

Costa de la Orme - Bee-eater and the one that got away!

This morning on the Orme was a bit special. On getting out of the car a few Willow Warblers flitted around the gorse at the northern end - always a good sign. Suddenly an unusual call had me searching the misty clouds the above me - House Sparrow? Tree Sparrow? The bird then appeared out of the gloom above me - a large Pipit!! The whole time it was calling I felt uneasy - this didn't sound like Richard's Pipit but what else could it be? Tawny's call like Yellow Wags and this didn't. It flew East towards the cemetery and lost to view. I put the news out as a large Pipit sp, probably a Richard's. Upon returning work, I listened to Tawny pipit. Expecting to hear a Yellow wagtail like call, I suddenly had a sick gut feeling when I heard a call similar to a raspy harsh House Sparrow call. Oh dear! .......The one that got away. Continuing on a Grasshopper Warbler jumoed from heather clump to heather clump while 3 Sandwhich Terns appeared out of the mist over the Limestones - a strange sight. Greenland Wheatears were still evident and several Willow Warblers hopped around the hawthorns. Suddenly a bird called above, perhaps two. It got closer and closer and the familiar yet exciting sound was above me. Pete Alderson, some 400 yards away started waving madly and pointing to the sky, his animated posturing giving away his excitement. Above us somewhere in the mist as at least one, probably two Bee-eaters calling. The birds continuing south towards the summit high above us, but their calls echoing around the headland in the stillness of the morning. You could hear a pin drop up there this morning. A small group of Redpolls could be heard in the distance and quick blast of the iPod brought five birds into the Hawthorns. One nice pale bird was a good Mealy Redpoll candidate and was grilled by Pete and I - remincent of the birds seen on Bardsey recently. Not a clssic but certainly not a Welsh Lesser! A Tree Pipit and 2 Blackcpas made up the rest. Not a bad couple fo hours before work, despite being frustrating!!


  1. Great blog here....
    Check out the Redpolls and Chiffchaff - mindboggling.
    Thanks Steve for the link.

  2. there was a large pipit on st agnes last year and the group of 30+ was split on dick's / tawny, despite it calling every time it flew. It never did'nt co-operate on the deck and various salient features were not seen.

    I think the similarities of call can sometimes be closer than we think. Great work all the same.

  3. That's made me feel a bit better - cheers. Is it you Peedee ? / Stevie Williams ? Racking my brains for St Aggie regulars :-) Hopefully nail it tomorrow morning fingers crossed.

  4. Great day. Hope you get the pipit tomorrow and keep it in the car park please!

  5. it is peedee, i cant remember my password so posted under anonymous.

    the 'never didnt' should have given it away - i really should re-read my posts before sending. The crowd included some very reputable birders too!

  6. what a wanker using an ipod to lure birds, great field craft from a incompetent birder