I'm still not sure how I feel about the origins of the Blue Rock Thrush. DNA analysis is ongoing but apparantly the far eastern race which accounts for virtually all captive ones has been ruled out. It just looks rather strange in its chosen surroundings despite not showing any plumage signs of captivity.
Blue Rock Thrush, Stow-on-the-Wold
After our mission in the Cotswolds was complete we began to meander our way back. Our first stop en-route was the village of Stoke Goldington just north of Milton Keynes. Here we found the spot at Missenden House on Dag Lane and the Tree Sparrows that were our target. We saw 6-8 but they were very shy and elusive preferring to stay in the cover of thick hedges most of the time. Also there was a Marsh Tit amongst the common tits visiting the feeders and a Common Buzzard over.
Tree Sparrows, Stoke Goldington
Common Buzzard, Stoke Goldington
Next up was Paxton Pits in Cambs where after a little while we located the female Ring-necked Duck on the huge new workings pit. 70 Pochard, c40 Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Sparrowhawk, 5 Red Kites, Snipe and Great Spotted Woodpecker rounded things off before we moved on to our final port of call.
Ring-necked Duck, Paxton Pits
After a flock of 12 Red Kites beside the A1 near Peterborough that final port of call was an area of rough scrub beside the River Welland at Deeping St Nicholas near Spalding in Lincs. It proved to be a lovely way to end a great day. With the sun sinking we had Great Grey Shrike, 5 Short-eared Owls, Barn Owl, 3 Goosander, Stonechat, several groups of Fieldfares and then at the death following a drive along the river 2 Little Grebes, 2 Little Egrets and a lovely close Great White Egret. The final raptor counts for the day were 16 Common Buzzard v Red Kite 20!
Short-eared Owls, Deeping St Nicholas
Great Grey Shrike, Deeping St Nicholas
Great White Egret, River Welland