A diary of my birding activity covering highlights and photos from my birding adventures. Mainly Norfolk (UK), occasionally beyond. I might mention the odd thing that isn't avian, but for moth and other insect news check out my mothing diary.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Citril Finch!

Went out last night to celebrate our wedding anniversary so decided against an early start at Burnham Overy.  Instead I headed off a bit later to the local patch where the avian highlight was a purring Turtle Dove.

I was about to head home to pick up Vitty and head in to Norwich when news came through of a Citril Finch at Burnham Overy!  I could have changed plans and gone in this evening instead but we'd left Vitty's car in Norwich last night and got a taxi home so she'd have been stuck, plus at this point it seemed reasonably likely that the "mobile and elusive" Citril would never be seen again.  So we went ahead with plans.

By the time we were ready to head up to Burnham Overy it was afternoon, the Citril had continued to show on and off and my phone was bursting with messages and tweets about how wonderful it was.  Eventually we arrived at Burnham Overy and began the long walk to the farthest point of the dunes.  A steady stream of happy twitchers were coming back the other way, broad grins and reassuring messages about how well it was showing.  I could see the crowd watching it as I approached - it was all looking good.  They were still watching it as I scaled the last mound before reaching the crowd... at which point I was surprised by the amount of excited chatter that was going on, and how no-one appeared to be looking at anything except maybe the back of their cameras.  A quick enquiry revealed that it had flown off two seconds ago!

I must have spent a good half - three-quarters of an hour hunting for it to no avail when my brother arrived from Kent.  I'd barely said hello to him when someone shouted and the Citril Finch came flying in.  A couple of flight views and it disappeared behind the large sycamore at the west end of Holkham Pines.  We headed round to where we thought it must have gone down but no sign at first.  Eventually Andrew picked it up on the deck.  Excellent scope views were obtained despite the push of people desperate to see it.

Citril Finch, Burnham Overy, 10th May

A pretty marvelous wedding anniversary present, though I'm not sure Vitty was so impressed!  This was the first for Norfolk and the second for the UK following one on Fair Isle in 2008.  

Didn't see much else at Burnham Overy - 3 Wheatears was about it - but stopped off at Choseley on the way home where as well as another 3 Wheatears there was a marvellous flock of 20 Dotterels.

Not much else to report since my last update.  Best bird during the past few days was a Cuckoo heard calling from home as I emptied the moth trap on Friday morning.

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