SO IT HAS HAPPENED! We've all been waiting for this species in the UK for a long time and the disappointment of being unwilling to spend £600+ on seeing the first one for Britain in Shetland on Monday was well and truly washed away today. First of all a very big thank you to the finder, Spurn regular Lance Degnan, who must now be just about the most popular person in birding this week! I could hardly sleep last night, which is unlike me. I am usually much more relaxed about twitching but this bird is so rare that there may not be many chances of seeing it here in my lifetime. Last Sunday's was of course the first for Britain and even though there will probably be more over the next few days, on the other hand, when the wind swings to the south there may never be another. Riding with 'Sherbie' RocketRon Jenkins today we left Accy at 3.30am, where there was a queue of four cars at the McDonald's drive-thu!!!?? We arrived in Easington, near Spurn, well before dawn but there were plenty of other birders on site already and we stood in the dark near the place the bird was last seen the previous evening. Eventually there was a big cheer not long after dawn, when the accentor flew in to the moss-covered old school yard, although my first view of it was sitting on a skip. We watched it almost all morning and again in the afternoon as it became even more confident feeding actively in the open almost all the time. Rocket and I also caught up with a Pallas's Warbler in the Crown and Anchor Car Park and a showy Shore Lark by the Bluebell as well as a flight of white-fronted geese today but we spent most of the time with the accentor. After all, why go off and photograph something else badly before you've done as well as you can with the main course? The lanes and fields were full of thrushes, Goldcrests and robins and there were still a few chiffchaffs around. A late Common Redstart was along Vicars Lane and a Black Redstart was near Westmere Farm. Another big thank you to the Spurn Bird Observatory team who spent all day looking after the crowds and making things much more bearable. It was also great to see so many old friends today. We all crawled out of the woodwork for this one. Finally, I wrote last weekend 'Well it's still up for grabs as a first for Yorkshire and Spurn'. There you go. There is no place like Spurn!
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