This morning the Twite was seen again, on the foreshore near the Tip. Thank You. And the Serin was seen again as well, so I went back to my vigil on the mound. I had been standing there for over an hour, perhaps two, not seeing a lot, when I thought I heard it, the classic bouncy trill, coming from the ridge. I strained to hear above the Goldfinches that had also started up, cupped my hands around my ears for assistance, and told those around me I could hear it. Could they? Yes, there it was again, and yes, at least one other bloke got it as well and agreed. That was it! If this is making me sound good, trust me, I have a very long way to go, but there are some things that I can do, and one of them is called research. If I'm on a Serin mission, one of the things I do is to read up on Serin before I go, and listen to the calls. Stands to reason really. I don't see Serin often enough to just inherently know it, so I have a resfresher. Genius. The Goldfinches showed themselves, the Serin did not. Bummer, but for dirty year-listing purposes, ker-ching. #314. Can't be too many more now.
A short while later, a well-known birder arrived. I'm not naming names. I told her or him (ok, well, him) that I had heard it. "What did it sound like?" Do I sense doubt? A hint of an aspersion? I described it, and played it on my phone for good measure. "Oh". About an hour after this, still with no sighting, the conversation had turned to bird records for Rainham. Aspersions were being well and truly cast now, though not in my direction. Yet. This well-known birder then accused somebody else of consistently not actually seeing things he was claiming, but in the same breath stated he was a truly excellent birder. Huh? How does that make sense? And this despite the fact that every single recent bird had been seen subsequently by several other people. Properly warmed-up now, they started coming thick and fast. A Greenfinch landed on top of the same bush that the Serin has been known to sit in, and called. "Did you hear that, that Greenfinch just gave a funny call, very like a Serin". KA-POW! Yep, that one was for me. Next up, Twite. "Twite is a London Mega, there haven't been any real London Twite for years. They used to winter regularly, not been any for ages now..." THWAPP!! Take that! Now, this birder has been birding for many years, and I'll be the first to admit that he knows a shed-load more about birds and birding than I do, and than I ever will, but is that really necessary? Rather than shit-stir and unsubtley attempt to discredit
I left after that. I should have stayed and vigourously told the caster to Piss Off, and that it was a Twite whether he liked the idea of it or not. But I'm not getting into a slanging match over a Twite, I'll save it for when it might really count. And anyway, Pudding needed lunch. She had been an absolute superstar all morning and a sausage-roll and a playground visit beckoned. But it makes me determined to formally submit the record. And if it gets rejected, well, it was still a Twite. Appearances can be deceptive, but I am not a total fool.