Birding is winding down for the year now. Last weekend’s effort to pick up Tundra Bean Goose and Pink-footed Goose (in with various flocks of Russian White-fronted Goose) turned into a true wild goose chase, finding only Greylag and Canada Goose. 24 miles seems like a long way to add only a Siberian Chiffchaff to the foot list, so it seems like it’s stuck at 185, which is a pretty good effort considering the 6 or 7 species missed on the sea due to a lack of seawatching during lockdown.
In the wetland behind us, the fields look perfect for waders, but a walk around yesterday yielded only a Stonechat, only my second there.
Another twitch today, to Surrey, where a Little Bunting, rare enough on its own, and a Rustic Bunting, a UK lifer, have been hanging around during the lockdown. Unlike the usual birds that clear off on Thursday night, before I can get there at the weekend, they waited until lockdown was over and still hung around into the weekend.
Early seems to be the most reliable time, and indeed we waited a whole 5 minutes after getting onsite at about 0800. Unfortunately the light was shocking, and as it improved, but never became good, the birds became more elusive. Eventually we had to go (just before the sun came out and the birds behaved, apparently), but we got nice views of a couple of special birds, even if the photos are ropy.