I was late reading the pager today and almost missed the report of a summer plumaged female Grey Phalarope (or more aptly at this time of year, as in the USA Red Phalarope). Now this is one of the worlds prettiest waders in this plumage and one which we never see here in the UK as although Grey Phal is a regular migrant after windy weather in the autumn it almost never turns up in spring. I guess this one was caught up in the very strong winds yesterday and today. There has also been a good number of passage Red-necked Phals (the more regular spring bird!) this year. Now I dipped one in 2000 in Yorkshire, and really there has not been another twitchable one since….
This female was at Brandon Marsh in Warwickshire late morning and we rushed off at 13.30pm when I found the message (the reserve closes at 16.30!).
We arrived about 3pm and walked out to the East hide. The bird was right in front around a small muddy island. It was feeding in usual Phalarope fashion swimming round picking insects off the water surface. It showed really well and I couldn’t take my eyes off it! It was a bit distant for my camera but I got a few shots.
Bit of my video…
link to video
Its odd how the colour of the bird seemed to change the jizz, the darker colour compared to the pale white and grey in the autumn perhaps?
There was a large loafing group of Lesser Black Backs on the pool and twice one of these chased the bird, it jinked and twisted and managed to escape but after the second time it flew up and over the hide and away!