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Sunday, 17 July 2011

To middle England

Common Rosefinch

Yesterday, Ian 'Eagle' picked me up at 5.30am, we collected Peter 'Polo' Grady and headed north. The journey wasn't too bad, arriving at Melbourn, Cambridgeshire, in good time. We could hear our target singing as we parked up. It took us a while to work out where the sound was coming from, though it was close, but once we did it wasn't difficult to get onto the Common Rosefinch (I do hate the fact that it's no longer referred to as Scarlet Rosefinch - a much better name!). I am considering this a lifer; I was happy with the Tottenham bird last year where I saw a small bird fly between the bushes (without bins), the half dozen people there all got onto it (with bins) and were very confident the bird was the Rosefinch - however after witnessing and hearing about various cock-ups in birding (e.g. watching a guy tick Pacific Diver after a Shag being pointed out to him as the rarity) I like to identify the bird for myself nowadays. Hence I removed last year's bird some time ago. Anyway, this bird showed well as it sang and was highly satisfactory.

Spotted Sandpiper

Our next venue was the Lyndon Reserve at Rutland Water. We got caught out in the rain on the way to the hide and even in the hide we got soaked as a leak resulted in an interior waterfall. The hide was pretty busy and for some time the only sandpipers that anyone was seeing were Commons and Greens. After half an hour or so I got onto a distant Common-type but as I looked harder I saw that it was the SPOTTED SANDPIPER. Everyone else got on it and the bird gave prolonged but distant views. It was a lifer for Eagle and Polo but the third I've seen (my first summer plumaged individual). Five Ospreys were also on show along with a Goldeneye and a couple of Black-tailed Godwits.

Ospreys

The M25 was a bit slow on the way back but otherwise not too many problems. We delivered Polo at his car and a short walk of Canons Farm followed. A productive day in good company.