Monday, 10 February 2020

Stormy Spoonbill surprise

After a relatively quiet but clement morning on the patch on Saturday I - no doubt like many other birders around the country - spent Sunday catching up on various household chores and computer stuff, interjected with just the odd glimpse out of the window with the bins as and when the rain eased off.

Around 16:30 the rain stopped again and I decided to brave opening the bedroom window to have a quick scan of the North Brooks with the scope. I almost immediately clapped eyes on a large white bird among some Canada Geese which, despite the wind and poor light, I quickly realised was a Spoonbill!

Only my second patch record, and the first one at Pulborough since 2018, I hurriedly got some record shots and circulated the news. A little while later it flew off, presumably just to roost, as it was back on the North Brooks again this morning. At closer range and in better light, Alan Kitson was able to observe it was an adult and bearing a yellow flag on its left leg, indicating it's of Dutch origin. (thanks to Ed Stubbs for pointing this out)
Photo: Alan Kitson