White-throated Sparrow - Zonotrichia albicollis

On Sunday 27 October 2019, Paul Schrijvershof (with whom I went to the Algerian Nuthatch in 1983) was birding on the Stuifdijk, Maasvlakte ZH. In previous years this was always a good location for migrant birds. Around 14:00 hours Paul was practicing the art of pishing and a bird perched in front of him. Another Dunnock of course was Paul thinking. But when he put his binoculars on the bird it turned out that it was a White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis! He warned some birders who were nearby and next at 14:16 hours he put the record on the Dutch Bird Alerts. He was also able to take some photographs, but the bird remained in cover most of the time.
The following hours the bird showed itselfs only a few times and when I arrived at 16:10. At 16:13 hours Mayro Pattikawa suddenly said: "there it is!" and the bird appeared in the top of a bush for a few seconds before it disappeared again, only to be seen by a few dozen birders. Till dark, the bird was seen three or four times, but always for a very short period. The following two days (28 to 30 October), this pattern was repeated again and it took some birders more than eight hours to get decent views or nothing...

27 October 2019, Stuifdijk, Maasvlakte ZH; photo © Mayro Pattikawa. I was standing just in front of Mayro when he reloated it.

27 October 2019, Stuifdijk, Maasvlakte ZH; photo © Mayro Pattikawa.

Same moment as Mayro's picture; 27 October 2019, Stuifdijk, Maasvlakte ZH; photo © Marijn Hoogteijling.

One of the first pictures; 27 October 2019, Stuifdijk, Maasvlakte ZH; photo © Paul Schrijvershof.
28 October 2019, Stufdijk, Maasvlakte ZH; © Leo Boon.

It was accepted as the sixth record for the Netherlands (and the first twitchable). Previous records were on 28 September 1967 at Rotterdam ZH, 8 October 1967 at Vlaardingen ZH, 24 April 1977 in IJmuiden NH, 10 June 1989 on the island of Griend Fr and on 30 April 2001 on the island of Rottumerplaat Gr.

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