An early start for my first proper twitch of the year. Picking up Dave Gray at 05.10 we met up with The Beast and Neil Hagley at Neil’s. A pretty easy journey down to Minsmere and we were soon parked up and on our way for target bird No1.
The bird in question had gone into cover seconds before our arrival… it was fucking freezing and rain was being blown through on a stiff wind and I’d left my gloves at home. After an hour where I caught a brief view of the Great Grey Shrike on Westleton Heath our target suddenly appeared… ‘hovering.’ Hmmm I thought they don’t usually hover so I was a bit sus until I clocked the spanking Lesser Kestrel as it perched up. Get in!
We grilled the bird as it hunted and perched and ‘hovered’… well it used the wind to float as a hunting technique. I’ve seen plenty of Lessers on my travels but a British bird is always pretty special.
We made a swift exit to Kessingland bouyed by news our next target had shown briefly at 09.00. On arrival the weather was pretty dismal and my hopes weren’t very high. A short wait with a sandwich and it stopped raining and started to brighten up. Soon after we were enjoying crippling views of Pallid Swift. Nice one.
Our next stop provided the only disappointment… no sign of the Alpine Swift in Lowestoft. One bird was reported back at Kessingland, so a quick trip back revealed only the Pallid. At least no one missed anything other than a year tick this time.
Our thanks go to Neil for being a star and doing all the driving. A two tick day…