Swamphens and Peatbogs. Sunday 11th September 2016

Posted: September 14, 2016 in Bird Watching, Twitching, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

The full “A” team assembled in Newhey (after brief introductions) and after a small discussion we decided to head for Alkborough, North Lincolnshire as the Western Purple Swamphen was still present. As two of the team still needed to see this species, we soon arrived on a beautiful Lincolnshire (8 miles north of Scunthorpe) morning. The news was good, the bird was still present, as we entered the hide the bird was showing a little distantly, but well enough and with 6 Spoonbills, Water Rail, Spotted Crake, Ruff, Marsh Harrier and lots of Avocets it certainly made me think I was on a Mediterranean reserve!! We had a walk towards the place where the River Humber splits into the River Trent and the River Ouse, always wanted to see this area, we all enjoyed that. As we left the area there were still lots of birders around the hide, enjoying all the birds present.

News of a Baird`s Sandpiper at Hatfield Moor`s N.R. reached us, so as it was another potential “lifer” for Chris B, we made plans to go. A supporting cast of a Pectoral Sandpiper and a Black Necked Grebe added a bit of “let`s get there”. We arrived at the Boston Park car park to the news that the sandpiper was still present. Now anyone who has ever visited the Hatfield Moors reserve will know that it is large, so, when the “good” birds turn up they are always a long walk, the distance to the Baird`s Sandpiper was no exception. After 30 minutes slog over track and raised peat bog, we saw birders in the distance. As we arrived the sandpiper was showing well down to 25 yards allowing for some reasonable pictures being taken (not by me though) as it was another lifer for Chris, the handshakes passed around. The Pectoral Sandpiper was pointed out to us and good views of it at around 30 yards distance were had. A juvenile Peregrine Falcon then put all the birds on that part of the moor to flight, except the Baird`s (perhaps it has never seen one before?) We met a couple of birding friends and had a good natter on the long walk back to the carpark. We called in at the Boston Park pool to try and find the Black Necked Grebe that had been present a few days. There were a lot of Little Grebes and a couple of Great Crested Grebe, but no sighting of the bird. Then I picked it up and as I tried to get the others onto it, it dived and was not seen again after much searching. That was a real mystery! Bob K had us all home by 4-30pm, another good day out birding, well done to all.

Dave O.

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