So having dipped the Western Swamphen the day it left Minsmere I’ve been watching it during it’s stay at Alkborough Flats in Lincolnshire. As I’ve stated before I have this soft self imposed two hour twitch rule and with Swampy now 200 miles from home I’d need to break that rule if I wanted to see the swamp monster.
Today was that day so I collected the Jims and drove up the A1 arriving at Alkborough Flats for 7am after the uneventful 3 hour drive. We quickly found the “first hide” and plotted up with two Kent birders hoping for the target to reveal itself. Five Spoonbills entertained us along with numerous Spotshanks, Avocets and Blackwits and a couple of Greenshanks all of which repeatedly took to the skies when the Marsh Harriers appeared.
We sat it out in the hide until noon without seeing the target and with no reported sightings elsewhere on the reserve we feared a second dip. Before leaving and after a light lunch we plotted up at the end of Sandpit Lane with another couple and viewed the square pool only to find the bird walking the fringe of the pool. Just the five of us saw it but I quickly put news out and then watched as the hide below emptied as the twitch moved up the hill to join us. Now some thirty birders strong all we needed was for the bird to appear again but it had other ideas and went missing for the next three hours.
We left before it was refound but were happy for the guys left behind that it did eventually reveal itself to them. Now all we need is for the bird to be accepted but lets face it if Chinese Pond Heron can make it then this must have a good chance.
Onwards and Upwards!