Monday, 27 April 2015

Not a bad weekend...

Planning to visit family in South Lincs on Friday night and Saturday, I could resist calling in to Broom Gravel Pits near Biggleswade on my way up. A White-winged Black Tern had been found there earlier in the day and was still present on arrival, showing well over the pit - if a little distantly for photos. the bird was characteristically restless, rapid and unpredictable as it fed over the pit; occasionally it would head down to the south end of the pit and rest on the spit for up to ten minutes before recommencing feeding. I haven't had chance to check yet but I think this may be the first White-winged Black I've seen in Britain since 2006!

It was a pretty grey evening in Bedfordshire and photo opportunities were limited, this being the only half-decent shot I managed. There are a couple more on my Flickr page.

White-winged Black Tern

The pits at Gypsy Lane look great and it's no surprise to see that good birds are regularly reported there; best of the rest in the hour I spent on site was a Black-tailed Godwit plus the usual Little Ringed Plovers, Redshanks, Yellow Wags etc.

Saturday dawned bright and warm, and I was out early shovelling gravel on mum's drive. Needless to say I didn't go back inside and look at my phone until almost half past 8, by which time news of a Hudsonian Godwit in Somerset had been floating around the airwaves for an hour. Twitching never has been a sociable pastime and plans to meet family instantly went out the window. Four hours later and I was looking at this:

This meagre image hardly does the 'Hudwit' (to give its beautiful name an ugly abbreviation) any sort of justice. It really was excellent and although others had great flight views of the bird wheeling around with the Black-tailed Godwits, I was happy enough to see it wake up, walk around for a bit, kindly flap and then wing stretch to reveal the startling black underwings. There are loads of better shots here.

With news that it flew off a few hours later and didn't return, the decision to leave family behind was justified - in the mind of a twitcher, at least. Off to Azerbaijan on Sunday - hoping that's it for spring now, or at least until we return on May 17th.

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