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Thursday, 6 October 2016

Red- eyed Vireo 6 Oct 1991: 25th anniversary!!!

Twenty- five years ago on the 6th October 1991, Rob Wil and I found a Red- eyed Vireo in Sparrow's Nest Park, Lowestoft. Seems like an eternity ago, but I remember as if it were yesterday. It was a sunny morning with a light westerly wind and the area had seen recent good birds including Siberian Stonechat and Icterine Warbler. Rob will and I were walking through the Sparrow's Nest Park, didn't seem to a lot about we passed the restaurant and was approaching the bowling green as we passed the large stand of Holm oaks the last one had a long hanging branch, a bird flitting about there bathed in sunshine was a Spotted Flycatcher, first spotted by Rob, but the bird next to it I picked up on and said to Rob, "Good grief, its a Vireo, a Red-eyed Vireo!" In an era long before mobile yet alone smart phones, Rob wanted, commendably, to rush off and phone everyone from the public call box then situated between Belle Vue Park and the High Street Surgery. But I advised Rob to stay and look at the bird and get as much details, so we could get a detailed description. Notebook out the details were duly compiled (albeit with very shaky hands trembling with excitement!) and then the bird disappeared after 10 minutes. Rob then went off running to Warren House wood where he knew several birders would be trying to look for an Icterine Warbler found there the day before. With people arriving from all directions within 30 minutes, we had an anxious hour wait before the bird reappeared at the top loop track in Sparrows Nest showing well for everyone except JHG and a certain Mr Brown who was yet to move into the area. I remember having lunch with all my family around the table (Mum, Dad, brother & sister) and then coming back in the afternoon for more views of the bird which was now being seen in Arnold's walk, but then I had to get a train in the evening back to London, where I was living and working, after graduating.

2 comments:

David said...

I remember this bird very well, too! My first East Coast American passerine. I took my 10 year old daughter to see it: she often remarks that seeing your Vireo set her on the path to a PhD in Zoology!

Peter Ransome said...

Fantastic, glad you enjoyed seeing the bird (we certainly enjoyed finding it!) and especially hearing that it inspired your daughter into doing her doctorate in zoology.