Saturday, 24 September 2016

Western Swamphen Alkborough in the bank for ron

So having dipped the Western Swamphen the day it left Minsmere I've been watching it during it's stay at Alkborough Flats in Lincolnshire. As I've stated before I have this soft self imposed two hour twitch rule and with Swampy now 200 miles from home I'd need to break that rule if I wanted to see the swamp monster.

Today was that day so I collected the Jims and drove up the A1 arriving at Alkborough Flats for 7am after the uneventful 3 hour drive. We quickly found the "first hide" and plotted up with two Kent birders hoping for the target to reveal itself. Five Spoonbills entertained us along with numerous Spotshanks, Avocets and Blackwits and a couple of Greenshanks all of which repeatedly took to the skies when the Marsh Harriers appeared. We sat it out in the hide until noon without seeing the target and with no reported sightings elsewhere on the reserve we feared a second dip. Before leaving and after a light lunch we plotted up at the end of Sandpit Lane with another couple and viewed the square pool only to find the bird walking the fringe of the pool. Just the five of us saw it but I quickly put news out and then watched as the hide below emptied as the twitch moved up the hill to join us. Now some thirty birders strong all we needed was for the bird to appear again but it had other ideas and went missing for the next three hours.

We left before it was refound but were happy for the guys left behind that it did eventually reveal itself to them. Now all we need is for the bird to be accepted but lets face it if Chinese Pond Heron can make it then this must have a good chance.

Onwards and Upwards!

Spoonbill over Shovelers
All five of the Alkborough Spoons
Take Flight
Year list now 264  Life list 376
with Swampy added as pending.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Wheatear exodus

It's always great to see the first Wheatear of the year as they arrive in the spring and great to see them gathering for the mass exit too. I hope these guys do well on their epic migration and look forward to their return next spring.

Wheatear at Landguard

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Wheatears and Wagtails at Landguard

A nice morning at Landguard NR in Suffolk where the place was alive with Wheatears, Willow Warblers and Wagtails with both Yellow and Pied in the dozens feeding and getting ready for the off.

Pied Wagtail at Landguard NR
Wheatear at Landguard NR
I found a couple of Lesser Whitethroat and Common Whitethroat before fly overs from both Common Buzzard and Sparrowhawk. Common Tern and Turnstone put in an appearance but otherwise things were quiet but enjoyable.

Willow Warbler
Common Buzzard
Lesser Whitethroat
Common Tern
Ticks are getting difficult to find now and the year list remains static at 263

News now in of a Tawny Pipit at Dunge if only I'd had headed that way this morning I might have connected with another bird on my thus far "dipped list"