Ouse Washes RSPB Reserve, Cambridgeshire
Sunday July 27th 2014
A remarkable day that added two new birds to my life list.
Two in one day is unusual enough but both of these were pratincoles, with first a black-winged pratincole in Cambridgeshire then a collared pratincole in Suffolk!
The black-winged pratincole necessitated a very long walk along the Great Ouse in very hot weather, but it was worth it even though it was too far away to photograph.
These yellow wagtails weren't though. The one at the very end is a juvenile pied.
The lakes out in the flood meadows were full of ruffs, at least 50 in one flock.
The second pratincole was a hundred miles away at Minsmere, so it was early evening by the time I got there.
Better views this time but still not what you would call close.
That's the pratincole in the centre - at the time I didn't notice the summer-plumaged spotted redshank in the bottom right!
The pratincole was much more dramatic in flight, so dramatic in fact that I couldn't make myself put my binoculars down to film it.
There were lots of much closer birds to film though, such as this very smart male ruff.
In fact, the east hide at Minsmere was so good I decided to return the following day.
I had now added another 33 species to my bird list, bringing the total up to 87 for the trip.