Tuesday 11 April 2017

Spoonbills by Moonlight

Well that was an interesting evening! Black Hole Marsh has been good in the evenings lately with some decent birds dropping in shortly before dusk so that seemed the logical place to have a look around in the hope of finding something new. As soon as I sat down in Island Hide I noticed two large white birds at the back of the marsh with their bills in the water; I put the binoculars to my face and BLIMEY, SPOONBILLS!

I've personally had a lousy few weeks in terms of finding anything decent or getting much reward for time invested but the last week has certainly had some better luck flying my way. Hopefully Spring brings many more goodies here, maybe even something properly rare...

The pics were quite distant as they mainly fed towards the back of BHM, but the light was fantastic and the birds are big so the photos came out quite nicely anyway. There are more pics and also some video footage so I'll post that tomorrow!

Steve Waite is doing the Patchwork Challenge with part of our Axe patch this year so Spoonbill is a good one to get on the list. Although having said that we'll probably get a few this year now! I initially stayed with the birds until just after 21:00 to see if they were going to roost on BHM but they just kept feeding. At this point the view over the estuary looked like this:

They were still visible from Tower Hide although it was difficult with the dull light shortly after Moonrise. Steve and I exchanged a few messages through the evening trying to work out if it'd be possible to see them when he finished work... at 22:00...

We met at BHM shortly after 22:00 and things were looking good as the high Moon was now throwing a decent amount of light in a good direction for us to view from Tower Hide. At about 22:20 we were watching Spoonbills by Moonlight with surprising ease. Some of you may think this was a bit (or a lot) mad but it was a heck of a lot of fun! Spoonbills aren't rare but they are good on patch. Stuff like this is what makes patch birding so, SO good.

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