Saturday, 10 April 2021

White-throated Sparrow

News filtered through Thursday evening that the East Sussex White-throated Sparrow was still around this had me contemplating a twitch. This bird has been around a few weeks but the locals had asked that it be suppressed due to lockdown guidance and intrusion as it was in a private garden and even during lockdown was attracting lots of attention. Move on a few weeks and we now find ourselves slowly moving out of lockdown measures and the bird has also moved to a public park so the locals have now put out the news of its continuing stay. Some people are moving out of lockdown faster than others and I'm keen to find a balance between acting responsibly and looking after that much talked about mental health benefit of this hobby we share.

As I went to bed I wasn't committed to going for the Sparrow. The Jims were going to travel for the Mockingbird should it be reported so I went to bed thinking if they go I might meet them there then go for the Sparrow. Upon checking the mornings news the Mocking bird had not been seen but the Sparrow had then I saw a great image of the bird and that was it I was in the car and on the way down the M23 in no time at all. The Jims decided against making the trip.

Arriving at the recreation ground I parked up in the small car park and walked to the bottom of the park finding a couple of other birders but the bird hadn't been seen since that very early sighting as it left the roost. Suddenly a very keen eyed sixteen year old birder picked up the bird and managed to get us on it. We watched it move through the trees for around ten minutes before losing it and we didn't pick it up again in the following couple of hours before I left. A stunning bird and really nice to get out and see some like minded people. It was especially pleasing to see the young lad enjoying the hobby and we have to remember we all started young and some of us are lucky enough to grow old. 

The other good news was that I was home in time to make Suzannes lunch. 

This April unlike the last has been kind to me with three American vagrant life ticks thus far.

White-throated Sparrow (there will ne better images but this is my only effort)

Barcombe recreational park

Barcombe allotments

Monday sees a further easing of lockdown restrictions and we can then stay overnight again so maybe I'll be able to book a week away at some point soon but the biggest hurdle for me is to get the Jims back in the car with me so they too can enjoy these new birds and some proper coastal birding again. I'm also hoping Scotland and Wales will soon open up to English birders again.

Year list now 140

Life list now 421

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