Sunday, 26 May 2013


On Friday I got out of an exam and turned my phone on to see a thankfully recent text from Jason Simpson saying he'd found a Red-rumped Swallow at Beddington! The second there this spring, which is astounding. I called and texted the Beddington birders and they didn't know anything about it but soon I and many other locals were on their way. This was coming up to 11.00am and I had to be back at college at 1.30pm; I got the bus back to Belmont where I collected the car and my gear then drove up to Hackbridge. It didn't take long to see the Red-rumped Swallow which remained faithful to the south-east corner of the main lake, affording brilliant prolonged views as it fed with a small number of Swallows. The weather was abysmal and left my sodden to the bone, a state I had to arrive in back at college. Mind you, the conditions did result in seven Ringed Plovers flying through. I returned later in the day with Phil for another look at the main attraction, which was still present but had moved to the south lake and become more distant.

Red-rumped Swallow at Beddington

Yesterday I was at the patch for most of the day, producing four Red Kites drifting north in the space of a couple of hours. I had the car and was sorely tempted to twitch something but nothing on the pager was quite going to work, apart from perhaps the Savi's Warbler at Lakenheath which I did consider. Late afternoon, a Terek Sandpiper came through from Rye Harbour and I picked up Ian and hot-footed it down there, this being one of my most sought-after waders. At the car park we met Jake Everitt who had just arrived after seeing the Roller in Hampshire and we walked together to the Terney Pool where the TEREK SANDPIPER was viewable, albeit a little distantly, with a small group of Redshanks, its delicately upturned bill and sandy-brown plumage evident. The group then flew, allowing scrutiny of the Terek's unique wing-pattern. This happened two or three more times and it really gave us the run-around, not really giving us any further views but we what we got was enough to satisfy. It was also nice to see Med Gulls, Sandwich Terns, Common Terns, Avocets, Little Ringed Plovers, Ringed Plovers, Knots, Grey Plovers, a pair of Cuckoos etc. Got back late though, and only just got up so I'm about to casually head out to the patch and see if I can get something good, preferably in the form of a scarce raptor!

Terek Sandpiper at Rye