10th May 2015 – Expect the Unexpected


It was a day off today, but I couldn’t resist the temptation to get out birding. I rarely can. May is one of the best months, and you never know what might turn up. I was also inspired by hearing that there were migrants appearing further north along the East coast late yesterday. Early this morning, I headed for one of my favourite places – Holkham and Burnham Overy Dunes.

I thought I might find a Redstart or a Spotted or Pied Flycatcher. In my wildest dreams, I had hoped I might hear a Golden Oriole, as there seem to be a few around in the UK at the moment. But I didn’t find any of those, and it was rather quiet in the dunes at first. That was until an unassuming little green finch flew up from the dunes below me and landed in a bush. I recognised it immediately, as I have seen them in the Alps. A very smart male Citril Finch, only the 2nd ever to be seen in Britain and a 1st for Norfolk. What a cracker!

They are found mainly in the Alps, the Pyrenees and certain mountains in north & central Spain. It took a little time to get a good look at it and make sure it didn’t show any signs of having escaped from captivity, though they are apparently very scarce as cage birds. By the time I left, quite a crowd had gathered already. As I write this, the Citril Finch has just made it onto the local TV news!

IB9A0599_editedIB9A0583_edited IB9A0559_edited IB9A0557_edited IB9A0550_editedCitril Finch – photos courtesy of Nigel Rogers

P1000803A small crowd had gathered by the time I left the scene

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