Spoonbill at last

22 May

Having missed out on spoonbill yesterday I decided for a quick visit to Druridge Pools to see if they were still around, having seen some excellent shots earlier in the day on flickr.

Driving through a rainstorm that had sprung out of nowhere as I approached my expectations weren’t high but by the time I’d parked up the rain had stopped and the sun was back out.

I walked to the Budge hide and two birders were already in situ at the hide so following the direction of the lenses/scopes would have given the birds location away had there been any doubt, but four large white shapes shone out of the rushes at the opposite side of the pool. All four were asleep but from time to time one would stretch a wing or raise its head as a lapwing passed over.

Spoonbills

The distance was beyond my 300mm lens – really need to win the lottery to get a 500mm lens to get that bit closer to the action, but its a record shot of a bird I’d always wanted to see in the wild.

I remember seeing spoonbills in books of birds of the world when I was younger and wanting to see them but then reading about where they were from my heart sank. Only later when I got more interested in birds did I see that they did crop up occasionally on these shores fleetingly, and more recently still that I heard of sightings close to home. I’d been to look for them when I lived in Cleveland, drawing a blank each time, and on moving to Northumberland last year I went up to Cresswell after seeing reports of them on the map – again a blank. Really pleased to catch up with them today, despite distant views of mostly sleeping birds in the middle of a gale.

Also had tree sparrow and common whitethroat in the brief walk back to the car, but I didn’t care – I had my spoonbill!

Birds seen : Spoonbill, Grey Heron, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Lapwing, Canada Goose, Whitethroat, Tree Sparrow.

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