16th September 2014 – Holy Island…

At last some long-overdue birding/twitching today – Col had twisted my arm to leave rarity-free Cumbria and head over to Holy Island on the Northumberland coast. But first we made a very quick stop at Grindon Lough where Pec Sand was soon in the bag. Without doubt the target bird on Holy Island was a Greenish Warbler which would be a lifer for Col, and even though I’d seen six before it had been 8 years since my last one. So after parking up in the main car park (they have stopped you parking near Chare Ends for free), we walked to the area that the bird was last seen in. For the next hour and a half we scrutinised every movement in every bush, but the Greenish Warbler was playing very hard to get, I did however manage to relocate a Barred Warbler which was nice. It was typically very skulky and flighty…

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Other birders had seen the Greenish in three sycamores some distance away so we headed to them, again we spent some time looking but nothing. The Barred Warbler however was now giving us really good views.

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We reluctantly decided to leave Chare Ends and search for other stuff elsewhere on the island, soon adding Pied Fly, Whinchat, Wheatear, and Tree Pipit to our tally.

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It was unbelievably busy with tourists today, I don’t know why but it was absolutely heaving, so it was nice to get away from the crazy crowds and head towards The Lough via the Crooked Lonnen. As we approached the hide at The Lough I quickly located the Red-backed Shrike…

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Whilst watching this fantastic bird some other birders arrived and told us that they’d just come from watching the Greenish, so we headed off back to Chare Ends again. And what-do-ya-know? – the very first bird we saw was the Greenish. Marvellous.

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