Sunday, 16 June 2013

Mega!! Pacific Swift at Trimley Marshes. Suffolk

While we were watching the black Kite in Faversham Kent yesterday, Breaking news came through on the pager that a Mega bird in the form of a Pacific Swift had turned up at Trimley Marshes in Suffolk.
From Faversham to Trimley it's about a 2 hour drive, and with conflicting messages throughout the day reporting the bird "present and showing well" to "no news of Pacific Swift since 2.45pm". Additional news was also coming through that Cordy's Lane had been shut off and police were issuing parking tickets, along with police speed traps being set up along the A14, and a 3 mile walk after you had parked the car. It was being to become less inviting to leave Faversham.
Even so we did still give it serious consideration on the drive back towards Essex. News of  thunderstorms and hail at Trimley finally put pay to any lingering thoughts we may of had.

This morning Brian having obviously not slept to well, texts at 5.15am to say he's going to take a chance and go for the swift. At 5.40am we are in the car and heading North up the A12 heading for Trimley.
Arriving at the car park around 7am. After Brian had managed to somehow squeeze the car into a gap between another car and a tree and we set off through the gate and headed down the footpath towards the reserve centre and hides.
Reports yesterday of the walk being 3 miles were probably an over estimate, and were probably closer to 2 miles.
On the walk down, we met a few birders returning to the car park. None had seen the bird, and although we didn't really believe the bird would have stuck for a second day, we still found it surprising that they would be leaving this early.
Arriving at the centre and opening the hide door, we were greeted with the words we didn't think we would hear. "It's just started to show", but it's very distant. Fantastic! Now all I had to do was find the bird among the hundreds of swifts out in front of me. The other problem is it's only showing briefly when it pops up from the reeds.
Soon after setting up the scope, birders started to arrive from everywhere, Soon the hide was packed, and I still hadn't seen the bird.
Some birders left the hide and started scanning from the grass bank, and after hearing encouraging calls of  the bird being seen, we decided to head outside and give it a go.

The area the swift was being seen in while we were there.
Shortly after setting the scope up, and with the help and directions from other birders I'm on the bird. Staying on the bird though is another matter all together. 
Before leaving the Common Swifts start to move closer towards the pools, and the Pacific Swift moves closer with them, giving some nice views.

A superb morning, spent in the company of a great group of birders who had come from all parts of the country.
We even get the added bonus of a lift back to the car park from one of the reserve volunteers, gratefully adding some shrapnel to his collection box as we leave.

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