‘Sibe’ Stonechat


Siberian Stonechat – Caister on Sea

It was too late to go for the Siberian Stonechat at Caister on Sea last night, so we just had to sit tight and hope that it got reported this morning – which it did! This was a Norfolk ‘tick’ for me so emotions were running a little high in the car but we needn’t have worried, I saw the bird as soon as I crested the first sand dune, sitting atop a lump of burnt gorse. A strikingly pale-looking male with warm buff/brown upper parts and pinkish buff underparts, set off by a charcoal face & tail and rose white rump – maurus I assume. However, disturbed by dog-walkers, it went and hid for some time before becoming active again along a 300m length of gorse hedge, bordering the golf course. Although it gave excellent views at times, I never managed to be in quite the right place for a decent digipic – lovely bird all the same.

Whilst we were standing waiting for it to reappear we were treated to super views of a Short-eared Owl, fresh in off the North Sea. We took the coast road on our way home and were delight to find a female ‘ringtail’ Hen Harrier quartering the fields just south of Horsey Mill. A couple of miles up the coast we came across another, and the hoped for immature Rough-legged Buzzard. Not a bad mornings work I’d say!

‘New arrival’ – Short-eared Owl, fresh in off the North Sea


A couple more grab shots, the latter is terrible I know, but shows the pale rump to perfection!



This entry was posted in Birding.

2 comments on “‘Sibe’ Stonechat

  1. Martin Coates says:

    And your thoughts now on the Porthgwarra bird we had some years ago?!

  2. TrevorOnTour says:

    The answer undoubtably lies in Martin Garner’s excellent book ‘Birding Frontiers – Autumn’, and I quote, ‘Faced with a ‘Sibe’ Stonechat, observers need to consider not one but four different taxa.’ If only we’d have known that then we’d probably have looked a bit harder…. could well have been an early Stejneger’s for all we know!

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