Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Midlands Mega day! PGP and Night Heron!


Yikes, it isn't very often I find myself wanting to drive from East Anglia back to the midlands to the inland wader hotspot that is Middleton lakes RSPB! However, when news of a 'Lesser' Golden Plover emerged from the site as we were checking out the Stilts at Cavenham pits a moment of panic arises.

Without doubt the correct decision for the day was to continue on as planned and a brilliant day was had due to that. The worry came as I anxiously slept with the hope it was present the next morning!

And it was!

Just over an hour later, and following the long walk that I remembered from my last, and only other visit to the site, the usual scrum of birders could be seen huddled near the 2nd screen.
Immediately you could tell the bird wasn't playing ball and was feeding in weeds/a channel out of view a considerable distance from the viewpoint. A full 40 minutes passed, filled with chatter with other birders and incessant scanning when from beside me a shout 'It's out'.

And there it was, a spanking summer plumaged PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER!!

Surely a male due to its immaculate plumage, the bird then gave nice, but as already mentioned, distant views on the far shoreline. Even from this considerable distance, the bird gave off a very different impression to European Golden Plover, being much darker overall, standing on taller legs. Honestly just a rather smart looking elegant bird.

After a good time giving the crowd a show, it slinked off back into the vegetation, and a huge piece of luck followed as the Night Heron was still present just up the road, and with the patchworker of Seeswood Pool, and midlands photographer extraordinaire Dave Hutton being on site, he kindly offered to show us the 'quick way' to Seeswood through the wilds of Warwickshire, something I am not familiar with at all!

After a short journey we pulled up adjacent to the pool, and a short walk led us to a bank opposite an area of submerged willows, and showing at the base of those willows was a stunning adult NIGHT HERON! Scope views were actually very good as it snoozed in the shadows of the overhanging willows, occasionally opening its stunning scarlet red eye on what was a very hot midsummers day!

After a while however, it became more active, and started fishing actively, in the exact same spot it was roosting in.

Although we hung around for a fair while as the bird had a habit of flying out into the open on a fishermans jetty, time eventually run out and we had to head off, but I left happy having seen two midlands megas, one being a regional first, the other being a very scarce visitor, not the worst of days for the midlands!

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