Sunday, 10 July 2016

Common Rosefinch down the Stow

Common Rosefinch
Slightly different angle
First view
Happy audience
 Local underpass street art
Favoured Willow
Walthamstow Marshes
Short Video Clip taken hand held at distance

I didn't need a second invitation from Stourport twitcher Dave J  & Tony to join them on a twitch to Wathamstow Marshes to see a reported male Common Rosefinch. The plan was to wait for news and then set off.  The reports were a little on and off however I estimated it was worth the risk of a 2 1/2 hour journey. The bird had been found by patch birder Jamie Partridge, a mega in terms of patch birding.

After initially going the wrong way we found the path in question heading north west from Lea Valley Riding Centre (free parking) to the railway bridge. However on arrival the birders present had only witnessed flight views and nothing for over an hour.

After a frustrating ninety minutes we heard the bird was seen further towards the canal so we all duly marched east and the gamble paid off as we heard the Rosefinch singing in its sweet voice behind us and then flew straight over us into a large willow tree.  As if by magic instead of hiding in the foliage the bird showed really well singing its heart out. Twice it flew to the reed bed where in perched on a stem before returning to the willow. 

I'd never seen a Rosefinch before - it was Bullfinch size, had a hefty bill and extremely beautiful red head. Suggestion seemed to indication it is a first summer bird as the red tones are not extensive & the median coverts were white tipped rather than pinky red.

A few birders had only just arrived at the site and got fantastic views within minutes of arrival. After pleasing the increasing crowd the Rosefinch took flight towards the pub & local housing where it had been seen on a feeder.

All chuffed we headed back up through the urban London jungle to increase our Red Kite count on the M40 to eighteen birds.

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