Thursday, 21 May 2009
As a sort of post exam treat I decided to twitch the Black-Winged Pratincole down at Stodmarsh NNR in Kent. Luckily Dan decided he could afford to take a few hours off revision to come and stop me getting another mega on him! I started the journey from Leics with an overnight pit stop in Beds and got to the reserve at about 7am. Dan had to come from Southampton and arrived shortly after.
As soon as I got out of the car I heard a Turtle Dove purring which was a nice addition to the year list. The sun was out and the reserve was absolutely buzzing with life and we soon heard the unmistakable booming of a Bittern. This was the first time Dan and I had ever heard it so we were really excited and as the morning progressed we heard several others along with loads of Cuckoos
The bird wasn't showing when we first got to the hide so we were in for a pretty tense wait. After about an hour though, a fellow bedsbirder managed to catch sight of the Pratincole's head poking out from behind a clump of mud. We managed to get the tick and tehn five minutes later the bird gave brilliant views out in the open. I think we both agree that its THE best looking bird we've seen! Despite it giving great views through the scope, it was just too far away for our SLRs so we tried a bit of dodgy digiscoping with my compact. Dan eventually managed to get the above record shot. We aslo saw our first Hobbies of the year. A great morning's birding...