We were down at our coastal patch by the Hunstbill Sluice on a most pleasant and sunny morning. The tide was high, the birds were few and far between, however we had a group of contented clients who by that point had seen around 90 different species over the last two days - so the urgency for us all to rack up more birds was not of paramount importance. Yes, we saw some nice curlew and redshank to add to our tour tally, but that was not important, it was more about the good company and swapping memories of the birds we had seen and enjoyed. The pied flycatchers, the marsh harriers, the egrets, warblers and waterfowl galore.

But there was to be one more unexpected pleasure, for when we were returning to the van for the last time, the cry went up that an unusual call had been heard from the middle of a dark thicket - the very same dark thicket where back in mid-April I had been given the runaround by a somewhat skulking warbler. Then it gave me the slip, but not today, for after a few minutes searching my first ever lesser whitethroat sat out on the top of a hawthorn bush singing out rather like a yellowhammer - but without the ‘eggs and no cheese’

Gotcha! I thought, as I punched the air - one less to see on my British list.

Very nice he was too, if somewhat grey and uninspiring.

Well, it made my day…

Lesser Whitethroat

Lesser Whitethroat

Graeme Mitchell