A early start at 3am had me setting off for Cley and the daunting thought of a hike to Blakeney Point for the Empidonax Flycatcher there (hopefully). I arrived at 05:15 and after a brief rest got my act together and set off. How many bloody times will I end up partaking in this 3 mile shingle walk, this time in the dark too. By the time I reached the plantation I was truly knackered and soaked from the rain. 2 birders said the bird was still present so the walk was put to the back of my mind for now. It wasn't long before the bird showed itself right in front of me, a cracking little bird that gave itself up when moving, otherwise it blended in perfectly especially in the dismal light. The wing markings really stood out and in the light it did give off a yellow tinge to the throat and breast especially when wet. It would prove elusive at times but always returned to the same areas feeding and at one time bathing in a water hole amongst the grass but it gave good views throughout. There were so many common migrants coming in the sky was a motorway at rush hour, I saw a Ring Ouzel at the half way house and plenty of Bramblings and Siskins, along with Redwing, Song Thrush, Blackcap, Reed Bunting, Willow Warbler, Chiff Chaff, Goldcrest and Robins galore. A great new bird but the prospect of the long haul back to the car at the forefront of my mind. On my return I was shattered and still wet but it was worth it, but not again too soon...
Staying local I thought I would search for some fungi. Hearing a few reports of some at Sandy I headed there. I was not to be disappointed either. I have never seen so many Fly Agaric fungi before, they were all over the place and a lot more to emerge too. So on hands and knees I began the search. I was able to get a few types of fungi that I had not come across before so that was a bonus. I think I have correctly named them, but admit I am no expert, but it was fun and something different.
My Dad and I made it to Holme ( after 2 close encounters with a Belgium Lorry driving dickhead ) in the hope the Arctic warbler was still present. It had been seen the day before but with a clear night and strong winds and my luck I was on edge to say the least. After about 3 hours, wait for it, the Arctic' showed itself, Hooray, and although the episode didn't last for long I had as well as my dad added a new species to our lists. It was very elusive and hard to track amongst the pine canopies but on separate times my dad and I got good views of the head patterning. The supercilium really stood out when viewed against a dark background and the way it held itself looking for food gave it an elongated but slim shape, with no other birds to size against it looked very much chiff chaff size and pale underneath when viewed from below, especially in the dark pine canopy. A bird I had been after for some time and now added, with the wind increasing and the bird disappearing we left, no pictures unfortunately but on the elusive nature of the bird and in that wood we were lucky to connect with it.
Over the last couple of weeks I had been hearing a cricket near to my shed, but had only seen it on one occasion. I got views good enough to identify it as a Dark Bush Cricket, but was not able to get any shots. For days I continually heard it whilst sat in my shed but no sign of it at all. Then one day I found it or another on the wall of the house and so with careful placing I was able to get a shot before it once again disappeared. I cant remember ever seeing one of these crickets before either.