7 Jun 2015

Red-necked Phalarope

Red-necked Phalaropes are gorgeous little birds and always good to see. They're pretty scarce in Cheshire but we've had a good run of sightings over the last few years. One turned up at Sandbach at the end of May but I wasn't going to drive all that way! However, one turning up 10 minutes away at Burton Mere Wetlands was a different proposition and an adult female as well. Phalaropes are among the few birds where the females are brighter than the males and where the males do all the incubating and rearing of the chicks! Cheshires had a good run of Red-necked Phalaropes over the last 5 years with birds at Marbury, Sandbach, Frodsham and Burton Mere Wetlands weighing in with 3 in 2 years!

When I got down to BMW after work the bird was showing distantly from the main reception hide but then disappeared when a Buzzard flew over disturbing everything on the scrape. We heard it was briefly in front of the old Inner marsh Farm hide but had flown off before being relocated in front of one of the viewing screens. Needless to say by the time we walked there it had gone again. Stan decided to check the marsh Covert hide while John & I carried on to the IMF hide. Nothing!

There were a few Black-tailed Godwits in front of the hide but no sign of the phalarope and with time pressing I decided to leave only to quickly glance back out the hide window and see it spinning madly among the godwits! Ringing Stan I put the news out and took the opportunity to get some photographs - no easy task as the bird was constantly spinning like a top in the water as it fed on aquatic insects and larvae it had disturbed from the mud.

1 comment :

Adam Jones said...

Superb pictures. I saw last years at BMW, but it was quite distant most of the time. Long may the run continue.