Monday, 21 April 2014

Hitting the ground running

Ben an I had just touched down at Stansted, following a bleary eyed 4am start in Fes, when news of  a Red-rumped Swallow at Cam Washes (found by Jonathan and David Heath) winged it's way to the mobile.  As it was virtually on the way home it would have been rude not to pop in and have a look at this enigmatic hirundine. We had feasted our eyes on small flocks of Red-rumped Swallows in Morocco  just days before.  Some had been at breeding sites but others were undoubtedly migrants, most memorably, northerly moving birds within spitting distance, and at eye level, across small fields one evening along the Atlantic coastal plain.  Very different to the proposition of a bird hawking over the verdant washlands of Cambridgeshire.

After a short walk up river we were able to watch the increasing numbers of Martins and Swallows at a closer range.  A short while later the Red-rumped Swallow was located at mid-distance hawking over the southern end of the Washes.  Although it was tempting to stay and hope for closer views eight days of solid birding had preceded and home truly beckoned.  Shortly after leaving Upware a second Red-rumped Swallow was found - amazebobs.

Other birds around the E10 over the week have included CattleEgret, Glossy Ibis, Spotted Crake, Green-winged Teal and the Baikal Teal on the Ouse Washes and a couple of Ring Ouzels around too. With a month more of migration to come it looks like this spring has every chance of  providing lots more opportunities to experience some exciting birds and birding.