Today started as a normal day. A quick round before work produced very few birds. When I met René van Rossum and Ed Schouten we discussed this lack of birds and I mentioned that one bird could be enough, it just had to be a good one!
When I got home some minutes later I just wanted to do some householding stuff when a birdalert came through: possible Long-tailed Shrike! It was just before noon and the drive would be little short of 1,5 hr so I had to act quickly. My wife took the car to go to work so I had to collect that first. 15 minutes later, and very sweaty, I rushed into her work and grabbed the keys from her hand.
When I finally hit the road I received a Dutch Bird Alert saying that the pictures looked good, but the bird hadn’t been seen since the discovery. When I was half way news broke that some previously unseen pictures showed a clear Long-tailed Shrike! I stepped on the gas. A little later the bird was refound and was showing well. I pushed a little harder.
When I eventually reached the spot where all the cars were parked I had to walk some 800 meter to the growing crowd. And then… there it was! Number 450 for my Dutch List, a new Dutch bird and, I think, only the fourth European record of this Asian mega.
Just Before dark I visited a nearby Desert Wheatear that, I was told, walked accross your feet. Well, you need a very large shoe size then.