Tuesday, 20 February 2018
Italian Sparrow at East Budleigh
On Friday 16th February, I drove back to Exeter and drove down to East Budleigh, a charming village and I parked in the free car park at Hayes Lane at around 11am, where I noticed a sign saying this was the road where Sir Walter Raleigh was born and the pub opposite was called the Sir Walter raleigh. I walked up to Reynards road and found the green area with 3 trees in the middle where two feeders had been put out to attract the Italian Sparrow. I spent around 30 minutes hear initially no luck despite seeing several 5 House Sparrows, 3 Long- tailed Tits and a Redwing moving through. I decided to check out the Cadbury Gardens road, really a Close where the last house on the right before the end had several bird feeders up near a great amount of scrub. Sparrows were coming regularly to feed here. I was also seeing Starling as well. After 20 minutes I suddenly saw the excellent Italian Sparrow, with a distinct dark chestnut brown cap, a distinctive hooked bill the bill tip of the upper mandible was distended. It also showed a little white before and after the eye. It also showed more extensive black on the throat and upper breast. It quickly flew however. Around 15 minutes later it came in again with several Sparrows and was perched in bushes before it flew to feeders at the back where it fed for a while and I managed to obtain my best shots. Walking round to the churchyard where a local couple said Hawfinches had been seen, I came across a statue of Sir Walter Raleigh, in the churchyard itself, a close Robin around the perimeter hedge and a pale Buzzard that flew into a field and then perched up in a nearby tree. It later flew together with a second darker Buzzard.