Godalming area birds

Godalming area birds


Friday, 14 December 2018

101 Linnets (and a probable Twite)

A totally frustrating and draining few hours on The Ridge yesterday. There's no point going into it too much, but I had four or five very brief views of what looked fine for a Twite – bright yellow bill, buffy wash to the face and underparts etc. By very brief I mean about 30-40 seconds worth of views in four and a half hours of patiently watching. The bird was with a flock of 100+ (I counted 101 but there were probably more) Linnets on the north crop but fed out of view about 99 per cent of the time, flying to the large tree on the east side when flushed, before piling back down again minutes later.

Probable Twite (clearly showing a cute, bright yellow bill, less streaked
underparts and less pale under the eye), The Ridge, 13/12/2018.

Despite the elusiveness, I managed three shots, all from the same angle. The yellow bill is clear, and it seems the bird had less pale under the eye and less streaked underparts. I didn’t see if the throat was streaked. Incredibly, Abel headed up later that day and thought he saw a Twite, before I’d even mentioned it to him … he was up again this morning, along with Steve C, but neither connected and apparently the flock hardly showed, feeding down low after a freezing cold night.

As I said, it looked fine. Pretty much everyone I consulted agreed. If I was up north or on the east coast I’d have no hesitation. To be honest I don’t know why I hesitate now; the magnitude of the record and awfully brief and unsatisfactory views I guess. If anyone has any comments on the bird, please leave them below.

Linnet or Twite?

For some reason decent birds never seem to give themselves up fully here, whether it be brevity of view or a distant flyover. I can tell you it’s fairly demoralising, and symptomatic of what’s been a truly frustrating year, which has brought little patch cheer. I’ll give it another look tomorrow, but it seems likely this is yet another item for the overflowing bin of Thorncombe Street ones-that-got-away …