Following on from some recent good birds and birding at the Mere, i arrived early hoping to catch up with some stuff on the water and to get some shots of the Ouzel better than Robinsons “artistic” efforts. MR met us in 2nd field where we picked up on the Slav off Heslop’s , the Black necked off 1st field and the 3 RB Merganser’s off KP. Then on we walked up past Heslop’s to catch up with the Ring Ouzel. As we walked up MR was telling me about a bird Lee and himself had picked up on call whist watching the Ouzel the previous day, albeit brief flight views in the murk, it appeared to be of a large Pipit/Lark but showed no tail in flight. The bird had dropped into the field opposite the cormorant trees (Martindown we call it) and warranted a further look. Unfortunately despite a search they couldnt relocate it.
Whilst i was trying to get some shots of the mobile Ouzel in Martindown, MR had walked up a bit further to get better views of it, when he flushed the tail-less bird from yesterday out of the grass, getting a better look at it and hear of the call ( described as a “schweep”) as it flew out over the Hawthorn hedgerow towards the field along Decoy wood was pretty sure it was a Richard’s Pipit albeit with no tail. We then legged it into Decoy wood field where after walking it i picked up the Pipit on the deck at the far end. Luckily the bird took up again and called just overhead from us and settled in the top of a Hawthorn, affording us superb views for at least 5 mins, getting all the features nailed apart from the tail, and some views of them insanely long hindclaws. It then flew off back towards Heslop’s where after meeting up with George Bennett and later Mike Jackson, we picked the bird up after searching the in the grass field next to Heslop’s and the field opposite the cormorant trees. The bird was still present when we left around 11:45, and was seen early afternoon by Steve Webb although the bird had been more elusive.
The walk back produced 30 White fronts on the Mere, 4 RB Merganser and a Peregrine.