16th Feb 2014 “Flora Butterbum”

We were heading up to County Durham this weekend as we were going to the National Railway Museum in Shildon to see the “Great Goodbye” which was the final time the amazing A4 pacific steam loco’s were to be together before two head back over the Atlantic to the USA.

When two children doing the RSPB garden birdwatch in January saw an unusual bird on their garden feeders and could not identify it they showed the picture to the RSPB, and to their amazement it was a Myrtle Warbler! Now the recent “horror stories” peddled by the national press etc had frightened them about having loads of birders descend on their quiet estate. however patient work by a couple of local birders resulted in the bird being refound and new feeders being put up on the outskirts of the housing estate. Thankfully the bird took to these and the subsequent twitch went off really well. The bird was put out last weekend but as we were going this weekend anyway we waited, and thank goodness “Flora Butterbum” stayed until we arrived.

A bit frustrating this twitch as I struggled to get good views through peoples heads but eventually it gave excellent views.

Sadly a little distant for photos when we were there but I got a few record shots….

Its almost 20years since I saw Myrtle Warbler in the UK, a bird on Tresco in the Scilly Isles  in 1995.

Oh and the A4’s? Well I’ve never had to queue for a Railway Museum before, it was totally mad, we queued for over 30minutes in a line maybe 1/4mile long to get in and the place was heaving with people!

The Queue!

5 of the A4s.

Bittern hauling train.

Mallard herself.

Mallard detail.




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