Saturday, 3 April 2010

Return to Kessingland

Made an early (ish) start today, heading back down the A146 in hope of seeing the Pallid Swift after my dip earlier in the week. It was a brisk morning, and I was lucky to miss the rain. A trudge down Marsh Lane, and almost straight away there it was; another new bird from the med, my first Pallid Swift! I enjoyed the bird amongst a small group of birders for almost three quarters of an hour, challenging myself to keep the bird in scope view for as long as possible. On more than one occassion, the bird flew over my head and I was able to make out the white stain on its chin and neck. I felt the wings were a little broader than on Common Swift, and after checking my Collins guide back in the car, I wasn't wrong. Stubby wings rather than pointed were also clear to see. The grey sky behind the bird allowed for a look at the black-washed-with-brown colour.
3 ticks in a week, and on the drive back I thought about my favourite. Whilst I am thrilled and lucky to have Lesser Kestrel on my British list, views were distant and whilst I am sure it IS a stonking bird, I can't say I felt that on the day.
The Pallid was subtle, a birder's bird, a treat to watch and study. Still not my favourite.
The Alpine Swift, with its contrasting colours and acrobatics over Cromer town centre, will leave me with the most satisfying memories of the 3. This WAS a stonker, and whilst by no means the rarest of the 3 contenders, I found it an unforgettable bird for all the right reasons.
Birding ended early today, attention now turns to Old Trafford. Hopefully Berbatov is awake today, I fancy he will be.

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