A male “Yellow Variant” House Finch was found at Lands End on Saturday 8th May 2010. The colour variation of the bird is common within captivity throughout Europe (colour variation is due to its diet). Although there are wild “yellow” House Finches in North America they make up a small amount of the finches throughout the States. The record is yet to be accepted by the rarity committees.
The record would be the 3rd (creditable) record for Britain, with the 2 before on Fair Isle (both were not accepted). The odds are against it being accepted but with reports of Dark-Eyed Junco’s in Kent and Norfolk, a Brown Headed Cowbird in Co.Durham and White-throated Sparrow’s on Fair Isle, Shetland (mainland), Boscastle-Cornwall, Bardsey Island, Isles of Scilly and Suffolk and 5 birds present on the QMII when it left New York for Southampton all around the time the Finch was present.
The bird stayed for 5 days and was seen by probably close to 1000 birders during its stay, It was later relocated at Prawle Point, Devon on 27th June 2010, It stayed throughout the summer until at least 22nd October 2010 where it moulted into the “Red plumage” more commonly seen in wild birds. It was also seen and photo’d (ID’ed from photo’s at a later date) at The Lizard before the re-location in Devon.
The Lands End bird captured superbly in the images below kindly submitted to Cornwall Birding by Andrew Jordan.
Images Courtesy of Andrew Jordan