Sunday, 1 June 2014

Red-necked Phalarope, Bowers Marsh

With a short Welsh trip imminent the plan was to stay home and take it easy and get packed.
This changed when news came through that a Red-necked Phalarope had been found at Bower's Marsh in Essex.
A straight forward drive along the A13 and after some 37 miles we are pulling onto the rough track leading down to the entrance at Bower's.
This track is covered with pot holes of varying sizes, from small to huge and what made it worse was many were filled with water.
The track from the entrance to the car park was not much of an improvement, being similarly pot holed and uneven.
The walk out towards the main lagoon was mostly uneventful, but was brightened by singing Reed Warblers Corn Buntings and Skylarks.
There was positive news coming from birders passing us heading back towards the car park, letting us know that the bird was still present when they left.
Reaching the end of the track it didn't take long before the target bird was found. At first the Phalarope was quite distant, but with constant harassment from the breeding Avocets, it flew in front of the nearest island giving excellent scope views.
The Phalarope looked absolutely tiny even when compared with the Avocet chicks that were feeding among the vegetation at the water's edge.

Red-necked Phalarope

The Avocets constantly flew at the Phalarope keeping it on the move, forcing it to fly from one end of the spit to the other. But it didn't seem to be to bothered and quickly settled back down to feed when it landed back on the water.
A very smart little bird and a very welcome addition to the year list.

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