I’ve just had a fantastic long weekend’s birding with the Glamorgan Bird Club at the Portland Bird Observatory in Dorset. Not only did we stay in an old lighthouse but we saw an incredible number of amazing birds. I haven’t typed up my list yet but I do know I had fifteen (yes, 15!!!) lifers (for non-birders, I saw fifteen species I had never seen before).
This little beauty was one of them: it’s a Rustic bunting (Emberiza rustica), a bird that breeds in northern Europe and in Asia and normally migrates to Japan and parts of China and south-east Asia to over-winter. This little one may have been blown the wrong way by strong winds or perhaps, by mistake, it joined up with a group of other small birds heading for Britain.
It was both an amazing experience and a real privilege to see such a rarity up close. (You can read more about this bird and see more pictures on the Portland Obs blog here.)