Sunday, 3 August 2014

Ouse Washes - Black-winged Pratincole

Teamed up with Ian and Martin Grant today and with a spring in our step, feeling 'up' for the 8k of walking ahead of us at Ouse Marshes! The Black-winged Pratincole had been pretty regular here since the 19th July, hopefully it was going nowhere?

Looking down a straight track nearly 3 miles long makes for the most uninteresting walk imaginable but it wasn't actually that bad! The railway bridge was just in view too (through bins which didn't exactly help!)


We dutifully kept to the site speed limit although as we got nearer, I estimated Ian was clocking 7mph, tut tut. fuelled by that surge of pre-lifer adrenaline!


The end in sight - are we nearly there yet!


And this was the view that greeted us! The Pratincole had relocated here from the pool nearer Stephens hide about an hour earlier. It took 20 mins before eventually, it emerged in flight and treated us to at first 5 mins and then after landing for a while, 20 mins of uninterrupted flight!


I'd done a manual handling risk assessment and the 500mm / gitzo tripod was not an option for my dodgy back so I just had the 100-400 zoom in the hope of a record shot? I got one when it landed on the mud some 100m distant, the digiscopers again won the day hands down but I'll settle for this nice view (much better through a scope!) of Black-winged Pratincole (249)......


Eventually it flew, just look at those long legs!


Plus the all uniformly dark upper and underwing.....


Just about the nearest pass, as it hunted insects.


This was the bit I wasn't looking forward to - there was no real motivation to start the slog back, or was there? How about a White-rumped Sandpiper at Frampton Marsh? Or the Little Stint (250 yay!!) we found with 4 Dunlin at the pool by Stephens hide :-)


There was one other motivation, the Tunnocks teacake in the boot! Trouble was , it had been sat there melting / cooling since the Bridled Tern!!! Looking distinctly dodgy and resembling an asteroid from afar, could I actually eat it??


You betcha :-)

Frampton Marsh here we come.....

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