Monday, 6 June 2011

A pretty smart Robin!

ARKive photo - Female white-throated robin
'Click the pik'

I did get an hour or so birding today, but to be honest this bird created much more excitement for many a birder who has been  - or is going to be - burning the rubber on many a motorway whilst speeding off to Hartlepool Headland in Cleveland to see the female White-throated Robin as in the pic via the link above, the male is as usual a more attractive creature. 

ARKive photo - Male white-throated robin, side view
'Click the pik'

The White-throated Robin  breeds from Turkey eastwards to Kirghizia, and winters in East Africa. There are only two previous records, a male on the Isle of Man in 1983, and a female in Pembrokeshire in 1990. It is interesting that both records are of birds on the west coast, pretty surprising that given this birds apparent north-south orientation of its migration route it is quite amazing that the species has ever occurred here at all.

Three people were involved in the finding of the first record in Britain, that of the bird above on the Isle of Man in 1983. The bird caught the eye of one of these three when he described it as a Wheatear-like bird, but all three noted the bird showed no white rump as it flew off. The bird re-appeared on a wall and they agreed the possibility of it being a White-throated Robin, but it soon flew off once again and out of sight and despite further searches it was never seen again.

As for my four hour birding stint today....

I did a circuit of Conder Green to find 2 Whitethroat, 2 Reed Bunting, a single Black-tailed Godwit was surely the bird I saw on 31 May as it dropped in on Conder Pool where the pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls are nesting, a Sand Martin over was a little unexpected. The Lune Estuary at Glasson Dock was as expected pretty quiet though it was rewarding to find the c.300 Bar-tailed Godwit here - recently they had graced the Conder creeks on a couple of my visits - a pair of Eider and 2 Shelduck with 17 young noted.

At Cockersands I can assure you the recent Quail is no more as every field in sight has been made to look like a 'Bowls Tournament' is about to take place any time soon. I noted c.20 Eider, the rest I found on a circuit, at least 15 Tree Sparrow, 2 Whitethroat, 2 Skylark, a Dunnock, 3 Sedge Warbler one of which gave me excellent views and was one of the best songsters I've heard in years, 2 Red Admiral also seen. 

1 comment:

Pete Marsh said...

Hartlepool is easier via Ingleton/Hawes/Catterick Camp, Pete - avoids motorway rubber burning & 25 miles shorter. I think its even about 15 miles shorter from Lancaster

I dont need reminding about 1983 bird - supposed to have been there at the time but had to cancel holiday - seen by at least one ultra-reliable birder

Excellent value late afternoon with locals producing ladders out of hats to see into the doctor's garden