Long-tailed Rosefinch Carpodacus sibiricus
Pallas’s Rosefinch Carpodacus roseus
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthera webbiana
Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus
|Area stripped of reeds|
The bay was gloomy and chilly on December 24th, with the obvious highlight being a brief encounter with a female Bluethroat. Other noteworthy bird sightings included a Western Osprey, just one Cinereous Vulture, and a dozen Lapland Longspurs. Two days later in the hills north of town, seven Pallas’s Rosefinch were a treat to watch as they fed in a roadside ditch just after sunset.
On the final day of 2015, an Eastern Water Rail and the overwintering pair of Hen Harriers were seen, but the real excitement for the day came in the form of three Pine Buntings. This is a long-awaited species for me, and this sighting was apparently the most southerly mainland record.
A Siberian Accentor on January 2nd was a personal new species for the site, as were two Long-tailed Rosefinch on January 9th. Later in the day, I was fairly surprised to see a lethargic Long-billed Dowitcher. Six White-naped Cranes were also a welcome sight.