Monday, 14 May 2012
20 years after....
... my first Red-rumped Swallow back in Corfu in the heady days of my youth, I finally see my first one in England. Luckily is non-show on Friday was a prelude to it showing well on the Saturday. A big thank you to my brother who drove me to Grafham Water. However it was looking like it might go a bit pear-shaped even then, as a bloke we met coming the other way said that it looked to be on its way out. This is one of things that concerns me about twitching, some of the birds you go to see are either out of the gene pool or soon to end up in a slightly bigger pool, say the Atlantic. Happily the imminent news of it's demise were unfounded and it was zipping, albeit slowly around the south end of the reservoir when I arrived. Not really red-rumped but it'll do. A bird that I had longed to see again, but failed miserably even trying to see one.
Job done I walked off to Paxton, not for anything in particular, but because I hadn't been there before. Bar a field full of dangerous looking cattle, it was a pleasant stroll in the sunshine. To the north of the main reserve I came across a stretch of hedgerow heaving with Garden Warbler and one Spotted Flycatcher. In the reserve itself my first Nightingale for Cambridgeshire.
Paxton pits is a great reserve, and, with the cessation of gravel extraction in the future, will be larger by two thirds. The workings at the moment were closed due to the economy, but when they finally hand the remaining workings over Cambridgeshire will have another huge reserve to match the size of the Great Fen, The RSPB's Hansen Project and the Wicken Fen Vision in the east of the county. Can't wait!
Sunday, after dipping Dotterel on the Fowlmere road, I trained it to Lakenheath for the Crane and Orioles. Job done I finished a rather good weekend at Wheeton for two thirds of a Stone Curlew and a rather showy Marsh Tit.