Today I took my birding gear to work with the intention of bunking off at 12 to drive the 50 miles to the nether extremes of our county for the long staying Bee-eater at Haltwhistle. I could have gone on Sunday but couldnt be bothered with the drive, so today was the day. Fired on by Mike Carr's superb photos, I WhatsApped John to tell him of my plan and jokingly commented that it would probably do a vanishing act before I got there, as the weather today was mild, calmish and clear, a lovely day.
Well, my prophecy couldnt have been more accurate. The feathered rainbow was still around at 9am, but at 10 it flew up higher and by 11 it had gone. Not to be seen again other than a fleeting report at 4.20. Time will tell if it returns.
The disappearance of the B.Eater at least saved me a half day holiday and some deisel, giving me time to consider my own sighting of the day.
Its no rare vagrant but Tree Sparrows were on the move this morning with two flocks of 9 and 19 at dawn flying S at a height along the coast path. The hard thing with these is to determine were these migrating or just leaving a roost locally as we still have lots of Tree Spugs here. Some discussion on our local bird group pointed me to think they were indeed on the move as large numbers had been through Spurn recently and a few at other headlands in the NE.
So whilst not a pulse racing rare, its these migrations that are the food of the patch watcher so I am quite happy with that.