Monday, 28 July 2014

A two lifer day - 26th July 2014

After an inpromptu night in Preston, Alex and I met up with Steff Leese and headed off due south east with the intention of ending up at the Ouse Washes to see the Pratincole, but en route, we were rudely alerted of the presence of an American Golden Plover in Warkwickshire. Both Alex and Steff needed this, so we popped in on the way down. A short distance away from the reserve, the news changed somewhat and it turned out it was actually a Pacific Golden Plover! I went from saying 'ok, I'm happy to go', to 'GO! GO! GO!'.
The bird showed wonderfully well as it fed and preened and look very settled. The ID was still not 100% confirmed on our arrival, but I was pretty happy from the word go it was a Pacific, but given the extensive black flanks, I could understand why it was put out as an American. The bird showed a hint of white in the flanks and undertail coverts, plus very short primary projection beyond the tertials, so the bird didn't have an elongated rear end like the one American I had previously seen. The legs were also crazy long and the eye was very large, almost like a Grey Plover, which gave it a very Pacific feel. A lovely bird and not one I was expecting to see!

Video of Pacific Golden Plover - Best viewed in HD
The main stop of the day was Ouse Washes RSPB to go and see a Black-winged Pratincole. After a crazy 4km walk from the car park, Steff picked up the bird flying high up with some starlings! This was my first pratincole ever and what a bird it was! I was amazed by how dark it was, and it almost came across like a Green Sandpiper at distance! Obviously with the exception of the Arctic Tern like flight.
Additional species onsite were Temminck's Stint plus self-found Wood Sandpiper and Garganey.

I also managed to pick up two dragonfly lifers in the form of Small Red-eyed Damselfly and Scarce Chaser. A flyby Clouded Yellow and a Painted Lady were also great additions to the weekend list!

Black-winged Pratincole!

After a long day, we decided the drive back up north was a bit too much, so we popped to the town of Sandy and stayed over for the night.

No comments: