Notes on birds & wildlife from an east coast birder, wildlife enthusiast & photographer
Saturday, 8 September 2012
Hola Suffolk Spanish Sparrow!
For the third time of asking, OFB and I plus Rob Win (his 1st attempt!) made our way down to sunny Landguard Point to try for the Spanish sparrow again. We arrived in plenty of time (4.30pm) and looked in the area between the car park and the pond overlooking the scrubby ridge bathed in sunlight, there was already a flock of Sparrows and we searched through them diligently but couldn't see it. Over time more and more Sparrows joined them and occasionally a small flock of 12 Linnets. and by 5.50pm things weren't looking good again, when a chap said here it is flying in and I got onto the said bird flying in and perching briefly on the top left of a bush, but then it disappeared, but I had seen enough to confirm it was the excellent Spanish Sparrow. It was then seen to fly to the ground and fed in a dip behind some Sparrows. It had several noticeable ID features including the brown crown, large pink bill and white area above the eye. A very bright buff brown or black edged back with 2 buff tram lines running down the back, faded black blotching down the flanks and meeting as a gorget on the chest, plus a very obvious feature of buff under-tail coverts, which were unmissable especially when it was seen side and rear on!
It would frequently take fright along with the other Sparrows and fly up to a small bramble bush always just 2 feet of the ground before flying down with some sparrows and feeding again. It flew down again and then flew right up the scrubby bank and perched in a bush just 10 feet from the top of the ridge. Conveniently just below 2 bramble shots pointing vertically upwards, it sat here for some ten minutes. After being seen for 30 minutes almost constantly in view, it finally flew again and out of sight at 6.20pm. Adios!