Spanish Sparrow – Waterside Village, Cumbria

A Spanish Sparrow was first seen near Carlisle on Saturday 13th July with the news being released on Sunday at about midday. Peter travelled up first thing on Monday morning and he saw the bird before returning to work. I was going to wait until the weekend but on Wednesday I cracked and decided to head up north after my Thursday morning appointment in Exeter. I also had an afternoon appointment in Taunton but I rearranged this one for the following Monday and was able to leave Exeter at about midday.

After about 350 miles I finally arrived at Waterside Village near Wigton, it was 4:45pm. There were only 3 other birders present and the bird hadn’t been seen for a short while. Fairly soon, however, it returned to its favourite rooftop and I had good views of its extensive black bib and flank markings and its chestnut cap. The bird sang continuously often disappearing into the gutter with nesting material. I left at about 5:15pm with the aim of detouring to Frodsham for the Lesser Scaup.

I arrived at Frodsham at about 7:40pm but had no luck before leaving at about 8:40pm. I had half a mind to sleep in the car and try for Lady Amherst’s Pheasant in the morning but knowing how tired I was and how badly I sleep in cars I decided to ring Jayne & Paul in Gloucester and kip down there for the night. I arrived in Gloucester at 10:45pm having travelled 718 miles in one day!

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