Sunday 22nd January Pine Bunting Twitch
For the first time for a long time, a car full of Birding Clams go carbon twitching for a rarity, namely the male Pine Bunting at Dunnington near York.
Jason Oliver, Tony Barter, Martin Smith and myself go through the dark early morning hours by car along motorways and country lanes until the village is reached. There are already around one hundred other birders gathered trying to see the elusive rare bird.
For a couple of hours there is no sign as Yellowhammers and Tree Sparrows come out of a discarded wheat field to sit in adjacent trees. Time for a chat with other birders, including Paul French and Lee Evans.
Jack, Jason's young son, is getting cold. It is still frosty and Jason takes Jack back to the car to warm up. Ten minutes later the Pine Bunting shows up near the top of a sycamore tree. It doesn't stay for long though and is soon back amongst the corn.
Three Clams have seen the bird, a new bird, a lifer, for Martin.
We all leave to go to a field north of Scarborough to find some reported Shorelarks. A Barn Owl is hunting along the field edge as we walk around the perimeter. Jason finds the larks. Another good bird to see and this time we all get views, Jack included.
Time to head for home, a day of camaraderie, laddish banter and great birds.