Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Red-rumped Swallow at Bowesfield Marsh, Cleveland - 30th April 2012

I had a quick trip up to not-so-sunny Cleveland after work on Monday, to see the Red-rumped Swallow at Bowesfield Marsh.

The last time I saw this species was here (you can just see one, the little dot between the clouds and the snowy peak, dead centre)…

TrevĂ©lez, Las Alpujarras, Spain  -  June 2010

…which is not quite the same as a cold, wet, windy, muddy northern nature reserve nestled between a bloated grey river and a soulless, half-built, industrial estate with random uninspiring studio flats. But, the local birders are always very nice and helpful. And the bird itself didn’t disappoint.

It flew close as I watched, down to a couple of metres, allowing great views of the streaky orange chest. The orange/white rump was clear from a distance, making it stand out from the House Martins, as was the dipped-in-ink dark tail.

I’d missed it sat on a post for 20 minutes before I arrived, and I missed it resting on the ground while I went searching the reserve for other birds; but I was very happy with the views I got.

The supporting cast was nice too: I got a brief glimpse of a my first Grasshopper Warbler of the year, along with other year ticks like Sedge Warbler and House Martin. In fact, it was great just watching the hirundines hunting low over the water, through the reeds, and between the bushes. The day got even better when later, as I watched in the pub, City did Utd. Again.

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