I spent yesterday in Hampshire having eventually given in to the lure of 2 great rarities!
We arrived at Calshot about 08:30 and saw the Spanish Sparrow right away... what a beautiful bird! It was looking right at home amongst the local house sparrows and with potential hybrids in the area it would seem it's been around for a year or so. I would love to know where abouts it was when it hopped onto a ship and hitched a ride to the UK!
This was my 300th bird species in the UK and was actually a world tick too! Next milestone is 350 which I suspect will be in a good few years (decades?) time now that I spend more time being a photographer than a twitcher!
After the sparrow we headed to Hawkhill Enclosure in The New Forest and again got onto the bird right away - an American Vagrant - Dark-Eyed Junco! Another suspected ship-assist and what a gorgeous little bird!
Here are a couple of photos, I'm particularly happy with the top one...
I'm off to Scotland next week for 11 days; 3 days wildlife photography, followed by 5 days mountaineering and then ending on another 3 days of wildlife photography!
Having never seen some of the Scottish specials, such as crested tit and ptarmigan, I'm very excited about this!
Watch this space!