First stop was Queen Mother Reservoir, in Berkshire. After a 1.5 mile walk, I connected with the bird I'd come to see.
|An American Buff-bellied Pipit.|
|No need for scopes with this obliging bird.|
It didn't take long to appreciate this bird, as it's not the most dazzling of Nearctic passerines.
The next Nearctic passerine of the day was much more of a looker. 293 miles later, found me at my next destination, the small seaside town of Aldeburgh, in Suffolk. The reason for my madness was the draw of the stunning Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll, that had been in residence all week. Now, I'm of the opinion, that all Redpolls should be lumped as one species, but this was a beast I'd always wanted to see. It wasn't to disappoint either, being personally, one of the best birds of the year. What follows is a bit of a photo fest, for which I make no apologies.
|My first view.|
|Check out the Bermuda shorts.|
|Come on, how cute is that?|
|Check out the white rump.|
|It was very confiding.|
Was it worth the 583 mile round trip for a bird that, in affect, wasn't a lifer, as I'd seen Arctic Redpoll before. In a word, YES. You see, for me, it's all about the bird. For example, it's just an opinion, but you haven't seen a Long-tailed Tit until you've seen one of those gorgeous snowballs on sticks of the northern form caudatus. It's the same for Arctic Redpoll, in fact, any Redpoll, you haven't seen one until you see one of the form hornemanni. They're just stunning birds.