Monday, July 28, 2014
What a Prat!
A call from Dave Dack this afternoon sent me scuttling off through Ashington, across the River Wansbeck and along towards Cambois to view Castle Island from the south side where this cracking little Collared Pratincole had dropped in.
Only the third for Northumberland after one at Holywell in 1966 and a fly-by at Beadnell in 1983 this is the first twitchable Collared Pratincole in the county in a generation. An what odds on it being in the same year as Northumberland's first Black winged Pratincole too, amazing.
I casually strolled down, cool as, [running, me, as if!] with out a hint of optics, having to commandeer ADMc's scope for half an hour. Cheers Andy. The bird was sitting out, showing well through the scope, running around as if it really was a proper wader and being bullied into flight by Lapwings. Here its copper underwing [too many moths, I know] could be seen as well as the white trailing edge to the secondaries. Another feature to eliminate the mega Oriental Pratincole was the tail being longer than the primary projection.
As I was unarmed, I snatched this photo on my phone. Its not the best, but you get the gist of it...
It soon got up and flew a great distance to feed high over Stakeford with Black headed Gulls probably on flying ants. At this point I had to leave, but I think it returned back to the island later on.
If you are going, go to the south side as many birders were going from the Ashington side. This involves a long walk and chances are the bird will be hidden from view or distant at best.
Puts me on 331 for the county...Nice.