The thing about birding is that the unexpected rarely turns up when you're expecting it (stick with me for a moment, that's more profound than it sounds).
If I trek off to a 'hot-spot' reserve looking for something rare or unusual, I'm not often surprised - if only because someone else will invariably have found anything rare or unusual before I get there, and emailed / blogged / forum-posted / told me directly about it.
Tonight however, a quick glance out of my kitchen window genuinely surprised me when I was least expecting it.
My usual glance up from the sink might reveal House Sparrows on and under the seed feeders, Blue Tits on the fat balls, a few Starlings squabbling on the bird table, a couple of Wood Pigeons loitering suspiciously near the veg plot, and then the occasional Blackbird, Dunnock, Wren or Greenfinch to liven things up.
What I wasn't expecting to see tonight was a pair of Siskins on the niger seed feeder. These are relatively common passage or winter birds, but extremely rare (as far as I know) in Warwickshire as breeding birds during our summer months. The latest I've ever seen in the county before were on February 27th, so this pair is either extremely late leaving, breeding locally or... what? Any thoughts?
Bird of the day - errr, that'll be the Siskin (Carduelis spinus), a lovely little finch which should be a long way west or north of here at the moment!