As I'm off on the same week that all the kiddywinks go back to school, that's what they'll all be writing about! And so will I.
So to begin with on my week off. I did get to Spurn, with Andy, yesterday. Not specifically to twitch the Great Snipe seen in the previous evening, we just liked the look of the weather forecast to bring some migrants in. Hmm, we did this a couple of years ago and the forecast was completely wrong. As a result, we saw nothing apart from a few Whinchats and Wheatears.
It was a good start, and already an improvement on last time, as we latched onto a juvenile Common Rosefinch, next to the heligoland trap just south of the chalk bank hide.
The olive-green on the wings made it more smarter than the usual "Grotfinch" nickname suggested, I thought. Also, the pinkish hue on the breast would be likely to be caused by elderberry juice, as it was continually munching on them. It could've done with a napkin!
There was also supposed to be a Barred Warbler in the same area, but we didn't see it, only a Whitethroat. Another Barred Warbler around The Warren also didn't appear, but there were Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, Yellow Wagtails, more Whitethroats.
We thought we would try our luck a few miles up the coast, for the Ortolan Bunting seen at Holmpton, around Cliff Farm. Thoroughly impressed with the site actually, a nice scrubby field with trees. Looks like just the kind of place you could go if you wanted to escape the masses at Spurn.
Unfortunately, the Ortolan Bunting hadn't been seen since early morning. So after a while of waiting around, and no news on anything new arriving at Spurn (as the weather was too nice, wrong forecast again!), we decided to head back home. Typically, the Ortolan then came on the pager later on. But that was nothing compared with the news of the Brown Flycatcher found at Buckton. If only that came on a couple of hours earlier, we could've gone for that.
But anyway, before going home a check of Uttoxeter Quarry didn't produce a huge difference in birds. But there was a fly-past by the Red Arrows.
You see, after a couple of recent site ticks, we celebrate in style!