Another view of the bird in flight as it hawked insects, a huge swiftlike wader this and a very impressive bird indeed..
What a stunning bird this was. This completed a hat-trick of wader lifers for me in May, Marsh Sandpiper was much wanted tick, Stone Curlew was rather impressive, but this was the best of the three for me....
The bird was found late on the evening of the 29th May and I had to work all day on the 30th, which was rather horrible. All I could do was hope it stayed and reports through the day revealed the bird was feeding over the reserve until dusk, a good sign. I arrived at 8am. having dragged myself out of bed after just four hours sleep. The weather was fantastic and I arrived on the reserve to a wonderful spectacle, the bird hawking insects over the wetland. I was lucky to watch the bird for four hours as it gave brilliant views through the scope.
A quite remarkable bird, this was my first Pratincole of any species. They are in fact waders that have specialized in hawking insects in the air and it is quite remarkable that they should of evolved to look like huge swifts, perhaps not a coincidence. In anycase it was impressive and a really stonking bird in the air where it spent most of it's time. The birds dark underwing was on view, as was the lack of white trailing edge to the wing. On the deck the short primary projection and educed amount of red on the base of the bill were very apparent, all featurees which help to separate this species from Collared Pratincole. Remarkably a Collared Pratincole was found today on Öland, here in Sweden!
Black Winged Pratincole is a mega rarity here in Sweden with just a handful of records, so I am happy to have got this bird today...and what a month May has been for birding this year.