Monday, 16 May 2016

Black-winged Stilts

Yesterday I got home from work around 5pm and made a quick dash to RSPB Vange Marsh. I knew the Red-footed Falcon was still there, but hadn't realised it had not been since at least 3pm! But the Black-winged Stilts were back feeding in the north-east corner of the marsh. These elegant long-legged black & white waders were feeding close to the edge of the marsh. Even stood on top of the viewing mound they were often obscured by vegetation or disappeared from view completely!

Anyway, back to looking for the red-foot, I moved position and stood with a few other birders along the east bank. The reedbed behind us had continually singing Reed Warblers and the occasional glimpse of a Bearded Tit flitting across the tops of the reeds. Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Marsh Harrier had all been seen, but still not the red-foot! Around 6.30pm a birder joined us and said that he had the Red-footed Falcon sat in a hawthorn just beyond the west bank. We followed his directions "get the green railing gate and go left three telegraph poles" and there she was sat in the open. She would move and fiddle about a bit and at one point a magpie landing near her almost put her to flight. The chap who put us on to her, had seen her at about the same time the previous evening in the same place and it is possible that she roosts in that area. After half an hour or so, I looked away from my scope to put a new arrived birder on to her and when I looked back she had gone. Scanning the skyline and all around, I couldn't see her and can only guess she had moved position but was now out of sight!