Monday, 28 March 2016


What to do over a Bank Holiday weekend? How about an obscene megabird in Holland? A risk for sure, with the possibility of Wheatear in Wanstead, but these opportunities don't come around all that often, whereas Wheatears come around frequently. And anyway, a Siberian Rubythroat is a Chat...

So it was that my arm did not require very much twitching when Bradders got in touch last week suggesting a euro minibreak departing on Saturday morning. Oh go on then. If I must. A heinous departure time meant that we were on site just north of Amsterdam early afternoon, and viewing this skulking Sibe shortly afterwards. Although the photos say otherwise this bird is actually remarkably shy, and three and a half hours of staring into undergrowth in a small cul-de-sac produced four views totalling perhaps three minutes. Most of the time it was content to sit invisibly in a shrubbery and sing quietly to itself. If you were in position when it popped out (which mostly we were), fine. If not it could be a frustrating afternoon.

It goes without saying that I've never seen one before, barring birds in cages in Hong Kong, so this was even more brilliant. That said I think I could see dozens and still not tire of them so lovely are they. Where has it come from? Who knows, but it would be for the best if it left soon I think... though with people putting down food for it that could prolong its stay beyond what one might consider reasonable. Anyhow, here are a few images from my visit - one of the reasons for going all that way was the steady stream of stunning photographs making an appearance on my Twitter timeline and it did not disappoint. This was my first eurotwitching excursion and I am very glad I went, and of course it wasn't just tick and run as we did a pile of birding at a number of sites in Northern Holland whilst we were at it - more on that to follow but for now the star of the show!

The first views were like this as it cautiously wondered whether to come out.

A real skulker

Reinforcements were called for....

And so no surprises that this then happened....

...and it showed superbly, albeit briefly.

New favourite bird!

1 comment: