Saturday, 27 March 2010

Alpine Adventures

Today we have been graced with an Alpine Swift - which is bloody fantastic! It took a while to pin down, but since late morning has been showing from Lower Bruckland Ponds, feeding in exactly the same place as the three spring birds in 2006. It was first found by Clive when it was in exactly the same place as the bird last autumn. They do really seem to like this bit of sky!

After an uneventful wander around Axe Cliff, I returned home and was supping tea shortly after 9am. Dad's mobile rang - which is rather unusual in itself! After he answered it I heard the words "Clive", "Swift" and "Boshill Cross".... my tea was abandoned as I made a hasty retreat to the car, followed by a very hasty drive to Bridge Marsh gateway!

After a couple minutes of looking with no luck, whilst scanning north I glimpsed a Swift feeding low over the fields towards Musbury. I lined the scope up and there was a Alpine Swift! I sent a few texts and made a couple of phone calls then got back into my car and headed for Musbury. As I was driving I could see it low over the road ahead, so soon ditched the car and enjoyed superb views as it slowly meandered north. Cue a few more phone calls.

I suddenly thought I'd better get a few record shots in case it quickly did a bunk, so I did....

Said they were 'record shots!'

Shortly after, and just prior to Phil's arrival, it gave me the slip as it appeared to turn back south east. We and a few others spent the next hour or so sky scanning but with no luck.

After I'd come back home, and mid way through planting potatoes, I hear it's back. It was from this point that it became a little more settled, being best viewed from Lower Bruckland Ponds. I saw it from here a couple more times during the day, but it was nearly always distant...

An Alpine Speck!

I'm looking forward to see photos from others, I'm told it came very close at times.

Otherwise today has been a pretty poor day for birding, though have seen and heard my first three Willow Warblers of the year. That's pretty much it though aside a light sprinkle of hirundines.

I shall finish this post, like yesterday's, with a Bunting photo...

Tomorrow, Little Bunting.... (I wish!)

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