Sunday, 16 May 2010

Frampton Marsh - Oriental Pratincole

I had a lie in following yesterday’s 15 hour marathon but with a certain Lincolnshire bird on my mind, a snap decision to ‘go for it’ saw me out on my first out and out twitch for quite some time!

Less words more pictures methinks but Frampton Marsh is certainly picking up some good birds, some year ticks here: Wood Sandpiper (visitor centre) Curlew Sandpiper (360 hide) and Temminck’s Stint (off the path to east hide). Little Gulls were to come later too at East hide (some pics too) but absolutely no doubt of the class act for the day – Oriental Pratincole!

Following (bad) advice, I started at the 360 hide and after 30 mins or so at least it was on my list! Hawking for insects in front of the distant raised sea bank., it soon relocated in front of the East Hide and was clearly giving the assembled crowd a show and a half!






OMG - will someone tap the guy second from the left on the shoulder and tell him he’s looking the wrong way!!






Just over 1km to get round there, I’m on my way then….. Next step was to get to the front of the crowd by the side of the hide (no chance of a seat in the hide). One birder who’d seen enough departed – I was in!!

The next hour or so witnessed an awesome spectacle – Oriental Pratincole hawking on the lagoon in front of the hide and very now and then skimming the nearby field/ditch right in front of me. The 500mm lens (all I had with me) was simply too big to cope with the speed in flight when close (and it did fly within 50m!) but I managed a few keepers now and then…..

In full sun....








Over the water.....








I quickly learnt that, delightful though this pose, this bird does not look at it's best against white sky!






Against the green of the adjacent field, it was just a question of trying to stick with the bird and hope.....




















Head on shots....












My favourite?






I suppose I need images of Collared Pratincole for comparison too now but just to clinch the key id features of OP – the short tail streamers and lack of white trailing edge to wing 'arm' – all clearly shown here…..






Oh and here’s one of the Little Gulls (first Summer birds) I mentioned earlier, at least five on view here....






Useful size comparison....






By 4.00 pm the bird was spending more and more time ‘down’ and with another potential lifer ‘on the way’ home, I decided it was time to move on.....

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