Ring Ouzels and Evening Grosbeaks

 The Scrubs

Although my world birding is at an all time high domestically things are pretty slow. April is usually the month that sets the hearts of me and my fellow Scrubbers racing but many of the expected birds have either been no-shows or have appeared in tiny trickles.

Wheatears, Swallows, Common Redstarts and Whinchats have thus far given us meagre flutters. The other day I thought I found a male Evening Grosbeak – a first for the Western Palearctic probably. That shock lasted less than a couple seconds until I realised that I had discovered an oddly plumed Greenfinch. It had white patches on its wings a yellowish mantle and greyish head. It confimed its identity when it started singing a typically Greenfinch wheeze from the ground. Interestingly, I’ve never seen a Greenfinch singing from the ground before.

 An aberrant male Greenfinch
A distant male Whinchat

The bird of the month was a glorious male Ring Ouzel seen all too briefly the morning after I arrived home from my Israel trip earlier in April. It is the 11th year in a row that this migrant has appeared at The Scrubs. I wonder how many more years are left before the area undergoes its massive re-development?

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