Thursday, May 7, 2015

When a plan doesn't come together - Red-rumped Swallow

The Bank Holiday weekend and the few days preceding it was a bumper time for twitchy birders no doubt apologetically sloping off from family commitments to race cross-country with the aim of bagging birding gold such as Great Blue Heron, Hudsonian Godwit, and Red-Throated Pipit.  I predictably was on shift and couldn't even bear to check the bird news such was my utter incredulity of being incarcerated within the four office walls.  Willing for time to fly, I in anticipation, booked a hire car in advance for Tuesday - a day where I would start early, dash around the country, and pick up whatever was left of the rarity-fest that everyone else was enjoying.

Well not to drag this out, the short of it was that in the hope that the Red-Throated Pipit was still present on the periphery of the Peak District, I made haste up the M1.

The weather was dire, strong winds, driving rain, and nothing showing up on the rarity radar.  No sign at all.  There was however a bird I needed in Hull.  Yes Hull.  I had a car and time.  So I made a rather sudden handbrake turn before heading Hull.  Yes Hull.

I arrived in Hull.  I walked into the East Park. The sun was shining but it was blowing an absolute gale.  There were a few birders present as were a good number of Hirundines.  While the assembled were straining their watery wind-slapped eyes into the wind, I looked in the other direction.  Over a small island on the lake, a Red-Rumped Swallow flirted in the wind with it's more familiar cousins joining together over this East Yorkshire park where the wind was but a minor convenience, more so, an opportunity to display such aerial dexterity in challenging conditions.  Well challenging for me anyway.

I was only there for half an hour, before heading back - a new bird - but the price was high both cost and time.

RRS just out of shot

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