Adult winter Kittiwake on Meadow Lake (Bill Aspin)
It's strange to not get up every day to ring birds and live birds, so its been nice in the last couple of days to do some patch work.
This morning I arrived at Brockholes with the hope of some migrants after the heavy rain of the night before. Checking Meadow Lake for the ever present Garganey produced the above Kittiwake. It was a fantastic winter adult and has to be one of the most pleasing 'common' birds to find in land. It's always a rush, especially when this is only the 2nd record for 2012 down at Brockholes. Bill Aspin and Peter Bainbridge managed to see the bird before it headed NW at c09.30.
Whilst we were watching the Kittiwake, 3 Black-tailed Godwits flew over the site and headed off SE which was a nice record.
Throughout the rest of the morning there was an obvious movement of passerines with Whinchat and Tree Pipit (seen by Bill Aspin) being the highlights along with Meadow Pipit, Linnet and Goldfinch producing an almost constant chorus overhead. (Interestingly, the visit yesterday was mainly dominated by Siskins overhead and I think I only heard 1 today)
The reason this post is called 'The one that got away' is because, whilst stood in the M6 hide overlooking No1, I was scanning the island when a Starling flock took up from the far side of the large island. In this flock was a small wader that I actually initially thought was a Sand Martin because it seemed hirundine size and was a warm olivey brown on its back and pale underneath. It was certainly smaller than a Dunlin which obviously got the alarm bells ringing as it was obviously a stint sp of some sort. It flew around for about 2 minutes until it flew overhead and I managed to hear it call (producing a light buzzing chatter which lead me to believe it may be Temminck's as it sounded very similar to the flock of 9 I heard in Kvismaren. The colour would match too) It seemed to have a very small head and reasonably short bill. As it flew overhead it was in silhouette which made it difficult to make any plumage detail out, but when it was circling the pool at 150 meters range, I could make out an obvious white wing bar, and what seemed to be a lot of white at the rear end. I couldn't say whether the rump was fully white or not as it was distant and the bright sun highlighted the white. The bird flew across the motorway and onto the working over there which are unviewable. I was praying that it would flush and reappear on No1, but sadly, this was not to be and was never seen again........the one that got away.