The just-about-tickable Hawfinch activity yesterday could not be the only exposure to an absolute stonker of a bird and, like the R-n Duck before it, one that I have invested a reasonable amount of time over the last four years seeking (without success). Freezing hours outside Hulne Park, Sizergh Castle and Croxdale too, and zilch!
So back today and arriving just after 9:00, Sir McLevy of Morpeth was already there and a guy with a camera lens that looked like a cooling tower on its side. So far, no joy.
Yesterday's activity started at 9:37, and today, half an hour of ornithological bliss commenced at 9:34. Thirty minutes of watching what is probably one of my birding highlights so far, feeding on the beech mast not too far from the south end of the east hedge.
Then it was off high and west and over the west hedge and out of sight. Boo! Hiss!
Mr Meadows arrived (nice to put a face to the blog - PC Wanderings, have you ticked Abbey Meadows off your list yet?) and he spotted the bird overhead and landing in a tree close by. As usual, camera out and bird off east.
And then a few other arrived inc. Sir Cowell of Kingston and having eventually got my eye in, I spotted the little (or not so little) blighter in the middle of the east hedge. Camera already out, some shitty-shotties follow.