Sunday, 4 November 2012

A Hawfinch in the rain

I debated for at least an hour this morning whether to go out in the pissing rain and in all probability see nothing, but in the end I decided I needed the exercise, and headed for Cossington Meadows.

At about 11:50 I was walking along the river bank near Plover Meadow pool, checking through a mixed tit flock and doing my best to pretend I was birding somewhere more exciting (the sort of place where something like a Pallas’s Warbler might be in with the flock), when an unfamiliar high-pitched ‘zeerp’ call somehow penetrated my hood/woolly hat combo. I looked up and was delighted to see the unmistakable chunky shape of a Hawfinch bounding towards me across the river! For a moment I thought it was going to land in the hawthorns, but I was obviously too close, and it continued across the pool and away towards the main track and Rectory Marsh.

A welcome county found tick, and the first one I’ve seen in Leics for over 14 years, the last being at Clipsham Hall, where they were fairly regular in the late 90s. And also, it has to be said (sorry Dave and John!), a mega Soar Valley tick, possibly even the first record for the area? If it has ever occurred, it must have been way back in the 1940s or 50s, when they bred at Quorn, which isn’t too far away. Not that my Soar Valley list is anything to shout about though...

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