Hooded Grebes - Patagonia - November 2016

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Monday, 1 August 2016

Seaford Head & Minsmere RSPB 1/8/16

An enjoyable morning on the headland this morning with a nice variety of migrants, but still lacking in numbers. The highlight was an obliging juvenile Cuckoo that was initially flushed in Hope Gap, but was fortunately quickly re-found on the nearby fence line. Other than a few Swift parties moving over, very little was migrating overhead.
Afterwards I took the plunge and drove to Minsmere RSPB in Suffolk for a purple chicken. In fact its a Western Purple Swamphen, and if accepted will be the first record for Britain. I arrived in just over three hours and joined the assembled crowd. It took roughly half hour for the Swamphen to emerge and over the next hour it showed a further five times for a period of maybe five minutes each, gradually getting closer each time. Supporting cast consisted of a Bittern and some Bearded Tits. I hadn't twitched for a while and was slightly going off the idea, but I'm very pleased I went for this. An enjoyable day out.

Totals are:
Cuckoo - 1 juv
Redstart - 1 juv/fem
Whitethroat - 20
Lesser Whitethroat - 3
Blackcap - 5
Willow Warbler - 17
Nightingale - 3 'croaking'
Sedge Warbler - 4
Reed Warbler - 5
Swift - 70W
Cormorant - 20 (one flock west)

Minsmere RSPB:
WESTERN PURPLE SWAMPHEN - 1
Bittern - 1
Bearded Tit - 5
Green Sandpiper - 1

 juv. Cuckoo in Hope Gap - class bird!!
 Sedge Warbler in Hope Gap
 Willow Warbler in Hope Gap
Western Purple Swamphen at Minsmere



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