And no, I’m not ticking it. I’m not even sure it was a cockatiel but it fitted best the drawing of a female in my Morcombe. I would not even have seen it but for following in binoculars my walk’s third sparrowhawk, which stooped on the stranger. Maybe the hawk was checking it out in disbelief too.
And there was another thing: I have not registered sparrowhawk in my eight months of birding the Wharf, then I get three – just like buses. I did well for raptors: a hobby got the ball rolling early, almost over Port Marine itself, and a buzzard wrapped up the two-hour visit.
I was doing well for Wharf firsts too. Hissing treecreepers gave me my 91st species for the site. In fact it was action all the way round, after the summer doldrums, with dozens of chiffchaffs, several blackcaps, two lesser whitethroats, one common, one wheatear and flocks of resident passerines. Some birds were in song – robins, a few chiffchaffs, a couple of Cetti’s and even a subdued song thrush.
Marvellous. Now, bring on the vagrants.