Sunday 6 November 2016

Swamp Donkey - The Revenge

A busy week of work meant no patch birding, but as I was staying close to Alkborough I felt that it would be rude not to drop in and have a 2nd attempt for the Western Swamphen. Stupidly I had left my phone at home, but fortunately I hadn't been so stupid to leave my Scope and Bins. An early finish on Friday had me making a return journey to Alkborough, although the SatNav clearly didn't like trying to relocate it again!

Eventually finding the car park I made my way over to the viewing area from the back of the Paddocks. There were good numbers of Yellowhammer and Linnet moving around, whilst a Sparrowhawk drifted over causing mass panic. It really is a good looking reserve, and I wouldn't be too surprised if something else good has me returning in the next few years. I could hear Cetti's Warbler and Bearded Tit even from my position whilst Marsh Harriers were drifting over the Reedbeds.

Fortunately the Western Swamphen decided to be a lot more forthcoming this time, and it only took me 15 minutes to eventually pick it up feeding on the left hand edge of the "square pool". Despite the long range, and my long-standing antipathy towards twitching it, it was still a smart bird. Not quite the same as watching thousands abroad in much warmer climes, but a potential tick in waiting. It will be interesting to see whether it does get through the BOU, but at least now I won't be looking back regretting not having seen it.

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