10th October 2010
In addition to the disappointment of finding diddly-squat the previous day, I thought I had probably missed seeing the Olive-backed Pipit that had been found at Stiffkey. After a lay-in there was still no news, but we decided to head there anyway and have a look along the coastal path. On the way we stopped at Cley Spy where a male Black Redstart was sitting on top of one of the buildings. A smart bird, and Cathy's 200th bird of the year. Upon arriving at Stiffkey I was surprised by the amount of cars, and soon found out that the pipit had been seen again.. Excellent. I was a bit concerned about Cathy and her mum walking out to the gorse along the muddy path, but they both said they wanted to go, so we all set off.
Having slid our way to the gorse, we positioned ourselves at a good viewpoint and waited. We soon got flight views, but rather than moving off with what was by now quite a crowd, we waited, presuming that the bird would be flushed back our way. It was, and then back the other way. After three flight views we became aware from the looks of other birders that it was coming our way again. Cathy uttered the immortal words "oh, is that it right in front of us?" and indeed it was. The Olive-backed Pipit was showing brilliantly in an open patch of grass at the edge of the gorse, about 10 feet away. As a number of birders who hadn't seen it yet came round behind us, I sat down and allowed people behind to get decent views. After a minute or so it went back into the vegetation. We skidded happily back to the car, and went to Wells for chips.
Postscript: The privilege of finding one of the few British spiders that bites humans was soured by the fact I hate spiders, and it bit me. Feeling a sharp pain on the back of my neck, I swatted a spider resembling an orb-web spider onto the back seat of the car. We pulled over and I literally kicked it out - well I wasn't going to touch it again! The bite swelled up like a mosquito bite, but went down soon after. First ladybirds, now spiders. Who knows what will bite me next.