Follow in Nigel's Footsteps

Monday, 11 July 2016

Collared Pratincole...

Well this one was certainly a surprise - not on the radar at all, particularly as birding has been so slow of late. Dave Helliar finally managed to get hold of me yesterday evening (mobile reception in Whitestaunton leaves a lot to be desired), with news that a pratincole (at that time species unknown) had been seen out at Ham Wall RSPB reserve on the Somerset levels. The news broke around 6 pm and we were on site at 7:30 pm with only a handful of other Somerset birders there to view this 'first' for the county. By this time it had been established that it was a Collared Pratincole and after a tense few minutes it flew up from behind a large clump of juncus rushes and eventually put on a great display in the late evening light as it hawked insects above the pools in front of us. I grabbed a few photos in the poor light but mostly enjoyed just watching it through bins as it flew a circuit back and forth over the water before settling on the mud some distance away. A short hand-held video in failing light from Dave too - amazing given the light conditions at the time.

Collared Pratincole, Ham Wall RSPB: R. Harris
Collared Pratincole, Ham Wall RSPB: R. Harris
Collared Pratincole, Ham Wall RSPB: D. Helliar
Collared Pratincole, Ham Wall RSPB: D. Helliar
Collared Pratincole, Ham Wall RSPB: D. Helliar
Collared Pratincole (hand held on P900): Dave Helliar

For some truly great pictures of it, head over to James Packer's website and enjoy.

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