It`s a cinch with a Citril Finch. Sunday 10th May 2015.

Posted: May 12, 2015 in Birding, Twitching
Tags: , , , , , ,

A  quiet weekend doing household chores had been carefully planned, after the birding excesses of recent times. A good “lie in” on Sunday morning until 9am and then even before I had chance to check out the bird news a phone call from Mark K, who was birding near Sutton Bank,Thirsk. His pager broadcast the news of a male Citril Finch near Holkham Pines in Norfolk, PANIC ! Only a second for Britain. Quickly asking for time off from my understanding wife and ringing a couple of the “A Team” members, who could not get away, I arranged to meet the York team in Fairburn village with Nige, Paz and Mark K making up the team. We headed off to Norfolk with Nige at the helm at around 10-15am and after a few negative messages on the pager, the bird seemed to settle into a routine and was showing well as we parked on Lady Ann`s Drive at Holkham around 1-20pm. What followed was a 1 1/2 mile slog (like the walk to the Pacific Swift, though not as far) through the pines with lots of smiling birders heading in the opposite direction, all saying “It`s still there”. By the time we reached the sand dunes my legs were seizing up and I felt like a “boil in the bag” (ta Mark) after donning my big coat in good, sunny conditions! As we reached the birds chosen feeding area, the birders had it almost surrounded, with some high on the dunes and some within 25 yards of the bird.The bird was pointed out to me and our panic was over, what a cracking bird! Scope views were even better once you could get into the “scrum”. We all admired the second for Britain (the first had been on Fair Isle a few years ago) for a good 50 minutes and the bird suddenly flew back into the pine tree area calling as it went. Time for a social with fellow birders from near & far, all part of the scene. The bird came back about 30 minutes after we left and it was nice to see Lee Evans heading (running) towards the bird as we had a much more sedate walk back to the car, now we could smile at birders still arriving! A few Egyptian Geese were seen, along with a “real” Barnacle Goose at Holkham. We called in at Chosely Drying Barns to see the distant Dotterels that had gathered there and counted up to 12 or 20 depending on were you were stood! Our last stop was Titchwell RSPB Reserve, always a good place to stop at and we saw Little Stint, 3 Barnacle Geese (dark bellied form) but missed Scaup & Red Crested Pochard. Marsh Harriers doing a food pass and a booming Bittern made up for that though. Time for home after a cracking day out and all of us seeing a “new” bird, what could be better! Thanks to Nige for driving and the good company of the York lads. Reached my home by 10pm.

Dave O.Citril Finch 21


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