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Monday, 22 April 2013

Red- rumped Swallow at Kessingland

Thursday 18th April was a very hectic day for me, perhaps too hectic following the bad illness that was to follow. I had half a day off work and having to report at work at 2pm, I drove down to Colchester to collect the repaired and fully serviced camera and converter. Afterwards, I nipped into Island Mere at Minsmere in the hope of testing the camera out on the very photogenic Garganey, only problem was, they weren't there! Male Marsh Harrier seen quartering the reeds to the west of here otherwise very disappointing save for my first Blackcap of the year singing from the rhodedendron tunnel. Instead I tried the camera out on a sitting Common Redshank! I then nipped into Kessingland Sewage works late morning and spied a White Wagtail and 3 male Reed Buntings on the north- western sewage bed and very unfortunatley had no time to check the fishing lake. After work, due to my phone being recharged I didn't get the breaking news of RR Swallow at Kessingland SW (should have checked this earlier!!) and rushed down at 6pm, narrowly avoided a large hail storm. I was greeted by Andrew E at the gate stating that all the hirundines had left following the hail storm and 1 or 2 were drifting back. Going through, I didn't see the crowd of birders further along and scanned the Hirundines on show, there were initially 2 Swallows and 3 Sand Martins but this increased over half an hour to include a House Martin, my first definate one of the year 7 Swallows and 5 Sand Martins and when someone shouted at 6.30pm there it is, and I saw the excellent Red- rumped Swallow fly right. It had a deeply forked black, almost stuck on looking tail, a pinky red rump and its more soaring style, almost House Martin-like flight, made it relatively easy to pick out by seasoned observers. It flew low over the water at times and often right round the lake and sometimes right over our heads at times, however, I found it difficult to photograph though. It was very good to see John E, I also saw Rob Wils (the photographer) & Chris D amongst the crowd. John E gave me a cheery greeting and he bagged easily the best shot of the day, far superceding my meagre efforts. It was sad to see the young lad from Lowestoft arrive just a few minutes too late to see the bird. A great sighting my first for Lizard land but it made me wonder if I'd had time to check the fishing lake in the late morning, would I have discovered my second ever finding of this species in East Anglia?

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