Trumpeter Finch - Bucanetes githagineus

On Saturday May 31st 2003 Willem van Rijswijk en Leon Boon were birding on the Maasvlakte near Rotterdam ZH. At 9:00 hours they discovered a odd-looking bird. At first they thought it was the Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactlya of the day before, but then they saw it had an orange bill. After that they identified it as a Trumpeter Finch Bucanetes githagineus, a new bird for the Netherlands. They warned all birders through the pager system and Dutch Birding Birdline. Around noon the bird disappeared, but was re-discovered at 13:00 hours. About 150-200 birders were in time to see it. Around 16:00 hours it disappeared again and was never to be seen again.

31 May 2003, Maasvlakte, Rotterdam ZH; © Leo Boon.

31 May 2003, Maasvlakte, Rotterdam ZH; © Harm Niesen.

This first-summer male was accepted as the first record for the Netherlands. The date was typical. Most records in northwestern Europe were from half May into June (cf Dutch Birding 25 (4): 285-286, 2003 and Dutch Birding 26: 185-189, 2004).

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