A su­perb seawatch­ing site with lots of great sur­prises

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - JOHN MILES

LONG NAB HAS been brought to the fore­front in mod­ern bird­watch­ing by lo­cal ‘patch work­ers’ spend­ing hours search­ing the sea for move­ment and even catch­ing rare mi­grants down the Crook Ness. It is a won­der­ful walk full of sur­prises, es­pe­cially when you think you can travel back sev­eral mil­lion years with the chance of find­ing fos­sils on the stony beach and cliffs. The bird­ing starts as soon as you drive along the nar­row track to the small car park with hedgerows to check. Tree Spar­rows and Yel­lowham­mers are a good bet, while Red­start and Pied Fly­catcher are au­tumn favourites. Walk­ing along Crook Ness is a great way to look for mi­grants in spring and au­tumn with good­ies like Red­breasted Fly­catcher, Barred and Yel­low-browed War­blers, Siberian Chif­fchaff and Firecrest in re­cent years, and Or­tolan Bunt­ing in 2015. Au­tumn thrushes love this scrub. Look out for Ring Ouzel, the fields have pro­duced both Snow and La­p­land Buntings, but also Quail, Desert Wheatear, Richard’s Pipit and even a Short-toed Lark. Sev­eral birds of prey use the cliffs for pas­sage with Osprey, Rough-legged Buz­zard and even a Pal­lid Har­rier in 2016.

Pied Fly­catcher

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