Tag Archives: Stone Curlew

Demons Of The Swamp Vol.3

Fans of The Cramps will get the title and if you don’t like The Cramps a. What is wrong with you? b. Why are we friends? Maybe we’re not.

Anyway, a blog post. First in a year? Does anyone still read blogs? If so read on.

Yesterday I went on my first twitch in absolutely ages. What did I twitch? A Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio, some call it Western Swamphen, I still prefer Purple Gallinule. Will it ever be accepted onto the BOU British List? I doubt it but then Chinese Pond Heron made so maybe.

Anyway one arriving at RSPB Minsmere we were soon watching Sizewell B Nuclear Power Station. I mean the Swampmonster.


Sizewell B


Purple Swamphen


Purple Swamphen

After a while of watching the Swampdonkey walk round a pool a sort of purple haze descends on a man and it was time to head off to the visitor centre to buy some china tea cloths or something and a coffee and bacon butty.

Around the centre, as well as the stench of composting toilets, are lots of Buddleia bushes. These attracted a steady stream of insects and a steady stream of photographers.


Migrant Hawker


Migrant Hawker


Migrant Hawker


Peacock & Red Admiral

By now we needed to see more birds and better insects so yomped a whole 300m to look at the Stone Curlew, two adults and a chick. Can’t be too many places you can see Purple Gallinule and Stone Curlew in the same reserve.

Back towards the centre we dipped Pantaloon Bee but scored with the Beewolves and a bonus if somewhat shy Purple Hairstreak.






Purple Hairstreak

We finished our day watching a pair of Honey Buzzard put on a full flight display over Westwood Lodge at Walberswick. The three lifers in the day Brian Moore’s granddaughter Rosie certainly hit a purple patch!

All photos were either iPhonescoped (still or 4K video) or taken using the camera on the iPhone 6S. Stills from video were taken using the StillShot app.





Stoned Love

I had a few phone calls this afternoon as I was chairing our team meeting at work – turns out it was Ken Goodrich trying to alert me to a County mega and hoping I could help the finder organise a twitch. Thankfully Andy Mackay must have picked up the message as Twitter alerted me to the mega… Stone Curlew! Stone the Crows…

A few other missed calls and games of phone tennis later and I was anxiously waiting for a call from Arthur Prince to say my car was ready. Finally I was off to North Luffenham from Narborough via Loughborough and then along the A606 through Melton at teatime… not a great journey.

A few anxious calls to and from Skev and I arrived at my destination just on 18.00 hours. Tim Collins, the lucky finder soon had us in convoy around to where his wife and Andrew Harrop had the bird staked out.

Typically the Stone Curlew was doing what Stone Curlew always seem to do… nothing. We had partially obscured views and this has to be the worst photo of one ever – unless Garry Bagnall has twitched one. It was taken on my iPhone 3GS… not a great camera to say the least.

Stone Curlew

For various reasons, and my thoughts go out to two County listers unable to make it today, only a few low-listers seemed to make it and of the big boys only Andy Brett was there. Roger is currently in Scotland so a family row seems on the cards.

The Twitch

A big thanks to Tim Collins for getting access, to the MOD for allowing us on their land and the Rutland Flyers, the model aircraft club for cancelling today to allow the bird some space. Even the Rutland Flyers who hadn’t heard about the cancellation and who accidentally flushed the bird giving some great flight views as well. It did show well in the end and I left very, very happy.

Stoned Love was The Supremes last hit in 1970 after the departure of Diana Ross and features Jean Terrell on lead vocals.