Saturday, October 23, 2010
Galley Hill, Luton
The hail & driving rain took something of the anticipated polish off the Leicester-Bath game at Welford Road so, when news of a Shore Lark at Galley Hill just east of Luton came through, it really was no contest!
I arrived to find the great & good of Bedfordshire's birding fraternity in a frenzy of excitement. The Shore Lark - only the 5th one found in the County - had been a County 'tick' for all of these longstanding local twitchers but, whilst scouring the empty fields, two (yes, two) Lapland Buntings had also been located in the midst of the Skylark flock....adding up to an amazing two County ticks in a few hours, the only previous 'Lap Bunt' in Bedfordshire being recorded in the same year that England won the World Cup! It's reckoned that these birds had probably bred in Greenland.
Unfortunately, the stir caused by the Lapland Buntings had understandably drawn attention away from the Shore Lark, which had not been seen for a while before I arrived, and didn't reappear for the rest of the afternoon. But I was well chuffed to see the Lapland Buntings (a male and female), including great views of the two of them flying around in the bright sunshine.