A little belated with the post...but not by some of my previous standards! Last Sunday a week after the Spanish Sparrow's presence was put out to the world at large (it had been the since Dec 3rd) and Gary and I finally had an opportunity to travel down to Hampshire.
Gary picked me up at 4am and we arrived in Calshot about 7.40am, a Woodcock flew over our heads before we joined a growing group of birders in the village hall car park. A distant Peregrine was seen on a nearby chimney, however it was quite a wait before the 'warden' on site notified us the bird was on the feeders in his girlfriends garden. Everyone settled down and formed and orderly clue by the house. No sooner had the first group entered and the bird flew from the back garden and settle briefly in the front hedge, giving most people a good view if brief. We then had a bacon roll in the village hall, re branded the Spanish Sparrow Cafe, while the queues for the house dwindled, as the bird showed well on the feeders again. After a short wait in the house I got good views as the bird came to the feeders then in the vegetable plot and patio.
As with most of the other birders it seems we headed of to the New Forest near Beaulieu to see the Dark-eyed Junco, my second lifer of the day. Straight away we were awarded with great views, but brief and nothing we could photograph, so we waited around a bit longer. While waiting a pair of Crossbill came in close before the Junco re-appeared and again showed well.
We stopped off at Hatchet Pond also near Beaulieu, adding Goosander, before returning to Calshot to look for Black-neck Grebe in the estuary. But the strong wind, and choppy water made searching impossible.
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