Saturday, July 19, 2014

Collared Pratincole

Collared Pratincole (Black-tailed Godwit background)
A flyby Kingfisher over the house this morning sent me on my way. 06:00 am departure put me at Minsmere RSPB Reserve just before 09:00 am. My target bird was an annual rarity; Collared Pratincole. This species was a lifer for me; so convincing myself to go for it was no problem. Thanks Rare Bird Alert ! On arrival I caught up with the 'gen' and went directly to the East Hide where it had been seen last. 

Ruff and Black-tailed Godwit
 The hide was pretty packed but I managed to squeeze in and began to scan. The bird had been seen but was hidden behind some vegetation.  Whilst waiting for this rarity to make an appearance, I panned around to see what else was present.

Little Tern
There was a great selection of waders to scan through: Oystercatcher, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Little Stint, Dunlin, Ruff, Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper and Redshank. There was a raft of nearly 50 Little Gull. Little Tern, Sandwich Tern and Common Tern + during the vigil - 3 fly-over Bittern!

Little Gulls + Black-headed Gulls
Luckily a Magpie decided to make its way around the lagoon and pushed the target bird out into view: Collared Pratincole in the scope! During the next 40 minutes or so the pratincole made a few flights around the lagoon; showing off its field marks and confirming identity.

Collared Pratincole (center)

Collared Pratincole
 En-route back to my car I picked up a few more species including Bearded Tit and Green Sandpiper. Total species recorded: 60

Sand Martin colony

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