Thursday 15 December 2016

The Beeley Dusky Thrush

Had a day out in the village of Beeley in Derbyshire last Friday, a lovely small village nestled on the edge of the Peak District National Park. The reason for my visit was to try and see a Dusky Thrush that had recently been found by a local resident as the bird frequenting the village and fed in nearby gardens and orchards. This rare thrush breeds in Central and Eastern Siberia and winters from S Japan and Taiwan through to S China and NW Thailand.

It was a great day and the local residents could not have been more helpful or friendly. There seemed to be a feeling that the whole village had really embraced the excitement of this rare visitor from far, far away. Tea and Coffee and Bacon Butties were on sale by the local charity (Dukes Barn), the car park of the charity was available for visiting birders and there were even signs to "The Bird." After my visit, on the weekend, I heard that the villagers were even running shuttles from an adjacent village (more able to cope with the extra cars) to Beeley especially for the visiting birders - Now that's what you call hospitality! 

This was the first Dusky Thrush I had seen and it was quite an education, particularly a bird that seems to be a more subtly marked 1W female than that of a striking male. See Ian Lewington's superb plate below, taken from the book Rare Birds of North America.

The bird was quite unobtrusive as if fed amongst the leaf litter. One of the best parts of the day for me was hearing the bird call. I am always interested in bird calls and it was very different to both the accompanying Fieldfare and Redwing. If interested, you can hear a very similar call HERE

At the time of writing this at least £1,000 had been raised for the charity as a result of the visiting birders and presumably this figure will rise. A great example of what a well organised twitch in a residential situation can achieve with the right mindset.

Presumed 1st Winter female Dusky Thrush, Beeley, Derbyshire

Check those Redwings in your garden!

Keep checking those orchards near you!

Hold on - That's no Redwing!

Note the very broad supercilium and the chestnut edges to the wing feathers.
Also the pale tipped greater coverts would seem to be indicative of a 1st year bird

The village of Beeley looking towards the orchard where the bird spent much of its time

One of the brief visits to the orchard during my visit

1 comment:

  1. Nice one Chris ! I couldn't resist the pull either 8-).