I was delighted to pull into Dempsey Towers this evening and hear a House Sparrow chirping away on the drainpipe above - a frustratingly rare bird on the garden list, despite the presence of a small, if obstinately sedentary colony about 200yds down the road.
Decided to have a look at it through the scope and was surprised to see a faint Tree Sparrow-like cheek crescent and rich, rich chestnut crown.
Some grey on the top of the head, size, stout solid black bill, and a big untidy bib pointed to House Sparrow, but the bird had a hint of a pale Tree Sparrow collar to further confuse things.
No white mark behind the eye that an adult male House Sparrow should have either - a hybrid perhaps?
It sang (if that's the right word) like a House Sparrow, but one worth further examination if it sticks around I think.
Interesting anyway in the world of water I've been working in for the last few days - middle of an eight day shift out on the dunes and most days I've been wetter than an Otter's pocket by 11am as downpour after downpour sluices the coast.
Seems to be good for flora though, with Grass of Parnassus and Dune Helleborine starting to flower alongside the hordes of Marsh Helleborines etc.
Nice new Common Spotted Orchid too.
A Hobby ripped though over Sands Lake on Sunday, and after the tide today, between 20 and 30 Sandwich Terns, with a handful of Commons were roosting on the beach at Ainsdale.
Ralph Jones sent me this shot of a juv Wheatear taken in a quiet area of the coast with no public access - coupled with his record of an adult male Wheatear nearby last night (see comment on previous entry), it is arguably strongly suggestive of a successful breeding record, which would be fantastic.
Apart from that, thanks to Tropical Thomason and Er Neill who have sent me their trip report and pix from eastern Turkey, in which Neill tackles the mounted division of the Turkish Army single-handed, Trops nearly loses it in a watery canyon and both of 'em nail one of the most enigmatic birds on the Western Pal list.
But before I post that thrilling tale, you're gonna have to tell me what you're seeing via the "comments" thingy...
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...