Sunday, 5 May 2013

Triple Dip Day birding in Cambridgeshire

A triple dip day yesterday, where we started at Holme Fen in Cambridgeshire more in hope than expectation that the two Dotterels had stuck around overnight.
Not surprisingly they hadn't, but it didn't stop us driving around all the likely looking fields in hope.
From here it was a trip to the Ouse Washes, this time hoping to connect with the male Red-Footed Falcon that had been reported the previous day.
Walking from the reserve centre we headed across the bridge and made our way along the dirt track heading towards Pymoor Bridge, a couple of miles in the distance.
Stopping on route to pop in to a few of the hides as we made our way along the track.
A Spotted Redshank was seen by both Brian and dad, but while I was trying to get the scope manoeuvred into some sort of usable position the bird flew, and I didn't manage to relocate it. Three Ruff were found along with 3-4 Marsh harriers and plenty of Redshank and Lapwings.A male Garganey was seen from Stephens Hide.

After around 4 hours of scanning the surrounding area there was still no sign of the Red-footed Falcon. Then the bird comes up on the pager as having flown West towards Purls Bridge.
Spotting the wardens jeep parked up along the track, we meet him and he tells us that he had just seen it briefly, and that he had put it out to the news services.
A Whooper Swan is seen from Kingfisher hide on the walk back, but it's another dip for the day, as the Red-foot  is not seen on the walk back towards the car park.  
It was a two mile walk to the furthest hide, but walking back straight into a head wind that stopped you in your tracks at times, added to that a couple of walks back to retrieve my hat made it seem more like four miles on the way back to the car park.

A short stop off on the way home to the Brecks, does produce a year tick in the form of a single Stone Curlew. It's quite distant and it's through a heat haze, but it's a very welcome sight.
Heading home, news comes through that there's a Long-tailed Duck and a Ring Ouzel reported from Fairlop Waters. 
Fairlop Water's is less than 5 miles from home, so we stop off on the way home. Before arriving the Long-tailed Duck is reported as having been flushed by a windsurfer. 
Although it would have been a great bird to have seen, I was more disappointed when we failed to find the Ring Ouzel. Having tried and failed at least five times to add it to this years list.

So just the one addition to the list today.
Here's hoping for better luck tomorrow.

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