Saturday, 3 April 2010

A long-awaited tick and a few bits

1 April:
Saw a bunch of Swallows and Sand Martins hawking over the water at Whitlingham on a lunchbreak trip with Reg.

2 April
Found ourselves at Kessingland for 6.30am, waiting two hours for the Pallid Swift, which arrived on cue at about 8.20am, arriving from the north, having presumably roosted in the village (on the church maybe?). The bird performed very well at times coming overhead at low altitude. Seemed to be for all intents and purposes like a pale, chunky swift. In good light the sandy inner primaries contrasted with the darker outer two or three (one primary missing on right wing). The pale fringes to the belly were only seen on close views and were not very obvious. The diffuse white throat patch was large and went on to the forehead, making the dark patch around the eye stand out. Whilst hard to judge on a lone bird, the flight appeared slightly more steady and laboured; less flickering than common swift. The bird's blunter wingtips did not seem particularly pronounced, but the wings did seem broader, particularly in the secondary area. A smart, but subtle bird.

Pallid Swift, Kessingland: this is what I call a record shot (not like those pretentious prats who post awesome shots online and call them 'record shots')
3 April:
Dawn at Buckenham revealed the drake Garganey resting on the pool by the hide, where two Water Pipits scuttled about on the grass, one of which was a corker in almost complete breeding plumage, looking like a monochrome Blue-headed Wagtail. Nearby a White Wagtail was with Pieds and Mippits; a big female Peregrine had cleared the floods and was hanging out on a fencepost, and a couple of Little Egrets were kicking about. The air was alive with horny Lapwings and Redshank, but no other waders of note.
Peregrine in the marshes

Sleepy Garganey

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