Sunday, 27 July 2014

A memorable evening on the Washes

It would have been too much to hope for that the Pratincole would hang around the Washes for a week and show itself to all comers but that is exactly what it did yesterday.  Brendan will have been mighty chuffed that he re-found the bird on Friday evening, having also found an adult Temminck's Stint at Stockdales.  From mid-afternoon on Saturday the Black-winged Pratincole settled itself down within the Lapwing flock close to the railway allowing more birders to catch up with it than during the previous brief shows.

The decision to take bikes was a good one and the journey to the northern end of the reserve was relatively swift.  The BWP was hunkered down and very difficult to see within the sward but with a zoom some reasonable views were to be had.  We were treated, after an hour or so, to a great 3 minutes of flight action as the Plover flock took to the air and the Pratincole wheeled around and showed it plain dark underwing and mastery of flight.  The bird settled again showing a little better and following another fly around settled out of view and prompted us to have a return journey taking in each of the hides.

Other notable birds included 15 Garganey including many very contrasty and smart birds.  A Spotted Redshank flew South and Greenshank, Ruff, Green Sandpiper and Dunlin were other waders clearly on the move.  The adult Temminck's Stint showed well, if a little distantly, from Stockdales Hide in the company of 3 Little Ringed Plover.

I had a really enjoyable birding session with great birds and good company.  I played around with a slightly psychedelic ultra-dynamic mode on the little snappy camera.  Not to everyone's taste but I like the way it makes the Fen sing.