Pine Bunting in Kent

Friday 27 January.

After photographing a Waxwing at Rainham Marshes in the morning, I was picked up and we headed southeast to Murston, near Sittingbourne, in Kent to twitch a male Pine Bunting that was found a few days previously. After hearing of other having spent multiple hours across days dipping this bird, we braced ourselves for the long haul, and after the soul-destroying wait of 15 minutes had ticked Pine Bunting (new for me, as Paul and Neil had seen a male previously). After this brief view and a further wait of 90 minutes the bunting was showing again in the mixed flock of Yellowhammers, Reed Buntings, and Chaffinches. Good but distant views were obtained of this very distinctive bird.
My first lifer of 2017, and although views were distant in poor light I can't complain when it's a male Pine Bunting! This allowed me to get some absolutely top-quality phonescoped photos which I personally think are worthy of wildlife photographer of the year. The stunning detail can be seen below.

Many thanks to Paul and Neil for the lift and for use of the scope for photos!

Happy birding,