Sunday 18 September 2011

Hurry for a harrier

I've been highly tempted by the prospect of a trip getting me four British ticks (including two mega New World warblers) but the main problem is, if I did go ahead with it and something really killer turns up (which it's looking like it might) then I will have no funds to twitch it. I suppose it's best to forget a couple of birds I may have to wait another decade or so for and therefore avoid doing myself out of something that I may never get back. Still, Northern Waterthrush and Black-and-white Warbler are two rarities that have always been near the top of my wanted list and it's painful to see them keep coming up on the pager.

This morning didn't quite go to plan but I ended up at Colne Point in Essex with Phil mid morning. After about twenty minutes we got good views of the juvenile PALLID HARRIER fly past and into the distance, never to be seen again. A nice bird (of course), I just wish it showed for the friends of mine who, regrettably, arrived a bit too late.

After staking it out for another two hours, with no further sign, an Icterine Warbler at Minsmere sounded tempting so we headed that way. No sign in an initial search so we popped into a nearby hide where we became distracted by a Pectoral Sandpiper that I picked out. Apparently it had been seen earlier in the day but I had received no messages about it on my pager (signal was dodgy) so it was a complete surprise for me when that wandered into my scope! A juvenile Curlew Sandpiper was the best of the rest and it was a shock to see the escaped Greater Flamingo remaining on the scrape.

Britain Life List: 314