Friday, 20 January 2012

Move to Junko

...well I won't be moving my memories from Wednesday to the memory junk pile! Had a fantastic day down in Hampshire, started late on Tuesday evening and was at the Spanish Sparrow site for first light. It was a bit nail biting at first as the bird didn't show straight away at first light but it was soon picked up sitting deep in cover but made its way out gradually and I had a brilliant initial view. It flew off but came back some hour or so later, being relocated further down the hedgerow sitting in fairly good light right out in the open. Superb chestnut head with fantastic arrow head markings from the breast side down onto the flanks. A stunning looking bird and its white facial markings made it fairly easy to pick out amongst the local House Sparrows. The last twitchable bird in the UK was a long staying individual in Cumbria which proved most popular, since then there was no records up until this bird. There are hybrid House x Spanish Sparrows present so the bird has been there for at least 1 breeding season, from what I understand it has been suggested the bird might have been there for longer.

(Spanish Sparrow - © Chris Thomas. Chris's Website:

After the excitement of the Spanish Sparrow we headed off to the New Forest and to Hawkshill Inclosure, this is a section of the forest where a clearing is present and a mobile finch flock is present, in with the finches was our target; Dark-eyed Junco. The bird showed fairly well a few times and although most views were brief it was easy to take in and enjoy the stunning but fairly simple plumage of this stunning species. We even had it feeding on seed low down briefly allowing for great views, in flight I noted the birds pink bill and white belly is particularly striking and stands out well. Brilliant bird (like the Sparrow) and well worth going to see.

(Dark-eyed Junco - © Brian Harrison)

What a truly fantastic day, been a while since I've had two British ticks in a day.

Until next time, Foghorn out!


  1. Word has it that you all had a Smashing time ;-)

  2. A brilliant day Alan! Hope to catch up with you soon mate, here's hoping for another goody soon.

    Stevie, so you heard! Oh was nearly exFog lol LEO today....concealed but nice to see. SEO there also.