Monday, 4 July 2016


On approaching the underpass along the main path of Walthamstow Marsh I heard a distant; sweet and bright dysllabic whistle. Then the repeating of a section of song, four syllables, unfamilar but defiantly totally arresting.  Honestly, my thinking was Rosefinch. But having only heard one sing in the flesh once before i was reluctant to blast out a hasty tweet. I tried to record the bird, which seemed to be mobile, sent the recording to Paul, Stu and friend Laurence P, saying "This sounds like a Rosefinch", then " gimme a call Paul, this thing sounds good..."

My video efforts were poor and not very audible. There is little high ground and i couldnt see the bird at all. I was cautious as there has been an escaped Canary type thing on Hackney Marshes a week or so ago and I didn't want to mess this up.

Eventually Paul arrived and the bird had been silent for 15 mins.  Then it called clearly a 5 syllable undulating song. Paul said 'Thats got to be Rosefinch' , I scanned and saw the bird distantly perched up in a Hawthorn.. "ITS A RED ONE!', 

The appropriate texts and calls to locals as well as RBA etc were made and people began to arrive.

It Seems to be a First Summer Male, the median coverts are white- tipped rather than pinkish red and the The red tones aren't hugely extensive. But a beautiful bird and an interesting time of year to see this species in Britain.

Many people seem to have come to see, and hear it and I'm very pleased to have eventually found a (much more) twitchable bird on the patch.


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