Finally, finally, this afternoon in a small patch of scrub just inland from the coast at Horsey Gap, Norfolk, I ‘unblocked’ a ‘Billy Bluetail’…or Red-flanked Bluetail, to give it it’s proper title – a bird which has led me a merry dance for many a long year. A three star rarity, that breeds in the Siberian taiga, occasionally as far west as Finland and winters in South East Asia. I knew there must be a reason for these constant howling easterlies over the past few weeks and now I know – it was to bring me this tiny, gorgeous, shy ‘slip of a girl’… for a female it probably was! If one was really greedy, which I am not, then a spring adult male in all his blue and orange ‘regalia’ would truly be a sight to behold but I am perfectly content with a female (or adolescent of the species) – perhaps more subtle, less ‘glitzy’. But don’t take my word for it judge for yourselves!
And to cap it all, a couple of miles down the coast at Winterton, roosting in a holly tree – a couple of Long-eared Owls.
A ‘Lifer’ and a Norfolk ‘tick’ ( I know, I ought to be ashamed of myself for letting this one go under the radar for so long!) all in one glorious, sunny spring afternoon….ah that’s the magic of birding!