Saturday, 5 July 2014

Is it Autumn Already?

I had a really productive June and after last weekends twitch (details here and here) thought that would be that until September/October time. Well, turns out I was wrong!

Got back home after walking the dogs to hear that there was a Black-winged Pratincole in County Durham - a potential lifer for me. A quick check on the map revealed it was fairly close to home so I decided to brave the Tour de France traffic and take a punt on it.

The roads were practically clear and a short while later I was on site looking at a distant Lapwing flock. The Pratincole still being present, just out of view. After not too long something flushed the Lapwings and the Black-winged Pratincole was picked up briefly in flight a couple of times before the flock settled back down. It was always pretty distant but could be seen preening, stretching its wings out, showing all dark wings with white rump.

I decided to re-position myself a bit closer to the birds chosen field where I got much better views of it on the ground. It was still generally keeping fairly low but would occasionally would stick its head up and look up though didn't look too bothered when some of the Lapwings were flushed by various large birds flying overhead and never really looked like doing anything. I grabbed one record shot on my phone as it was keeping low, but it is pretty poor, even by my standards! I think you can almost tell that it's not a Lapwing!

Black-winged Pratincole (iPhone-scoped record shot)

I think this was a first for County Durham and about the 42nd UK record; it was also a UK tick and lifer for me (#2550) but more importantly it was a grip-back on Dave after he got the Norfolk bird in 2009 that I couldn't get to.

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