Sunday, 16 October 2016

Siberian Accentor causes east coast MEGA twitch

Siberian Accentor
Siberian Accentor
Siberian Accentor
Siberian Accentor
Siberian Accentor
The only destination this weekend
Every viewpoint being taken
Room for everyone
Sun rising as I pass through Hull

I took an emergency days leave on Friday to head to Easington, close to Spurn, to see a Siberian Accentor, a first for the UK main land. Historically I always give first day twitches a wide berth but after seeing the stunning pictures online of the first UK's Accentor discovered on Shetland on 9th October and how birders had flocked at great expense, I had to go. 

My tactics of 6am departure paid dividends as when I arrived one of the brilliant volunteers directed us to a space within 500 metres of the site as most of those who had arrived a dawn had seen the bird and moved down to Spurn. Some people had parked over a mile away. 

Expecting to queue to see the bird I was very surprised to get a great viewing spot within five minutes right on the front row with no fuss at all. I'd never seen so many grinning middle aged men in one place just loving how close the Siberian visitor was. Some times is was within 4/5 feet of the fence taking no notice of the audience at all. The bird had probably never seen humans before and it's only hassle came from a Pied Wagtail that chased the Accentor a couple of times as I watched closely.

Reading the various news articles it seems the species records have been increasing in Scandinavia for a number of years. Very similar to the every day Dunnock, the bird showed a deep yellow supercillia and throat, dark ear coverts and maroon-tinged upper parts. Its natural breeding down is in Siberia on both sides of the Ural mountains. The bird was a classy individual and will surely take the bird of the year title for many.

Recognition must be given to all the fantastic volunteers on site who made the whole twitch a very pleasurable one.

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