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Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Controversial finch still awaits decision on its fate

The orange-yellow variant MEXICAN HOUSE FINCH remains at East Prawle village in picturesque South Devon. It is loosely associating with House Sparrows and is repeatedly returning to the garden and feeders of 'The Old Cider House', as well as frequently perching on the long roof of 'The Shippen' - all adjacent and just behind the cafe (Piglet Stores) on the village green. The bird appears intermittently and goes missing for long periods of time but repeatedly comes back to the same area of gardens, where it performs very well. It now seems likely that this bird is a ship-assisted arrival from North America, considering its easterly coastal movement between Land's End and Prawle Point, although the possibility of it being an escape still cannot be completely ruled out. Categorization of such an individual is still being looked into, as is that of 21 further species of transatlantic ship-assisted arrivals to Britain and Ireland.

ACCESS INSTRUCTIONS: East Prawle is best accessed from Kingsbridge and the A379, along four miles of very minor and hazardous narrow country lanes. Limited parking is available by the village green upon arrival but please respect the privacy of residents when searching for the bird, preferably avoiding early morning visits. The bird is no longer singing regularly but returns to the gardens perhaps once every two hours, less frequently in the afternoons and evenings.

A pair of GULL-BILLED TERNS were an excellent reward for a local patchworker at Bowling Green Marsh RSPB, Topsham (South Devon) yesterday evening, the two birds remaining until dusk in the high tide gathering of waders, Black-headed Gulls and Sandwich Terns. Just under 25 lucky individuals connected.