We decided to give the Diamond Jubilee festivities a miss and so we arranged to go out birding instead. We were due to go for the ROLLER at Aldbrough on Monday, but the previous evening it had flown south. We planned to start at Westport and then decide where to go.
However, things all changed when I woke up on Monday morning only to find that the ROLLER had returned from its short flight only 15 minutes later. None of the bird info services had picked up on this. I sent a text to "Mr Snoozy" CJW and following the briefest of visits to Westport, we headed for East Yorkshire. The sun was out following Sundays perma-rain and the motorways were quiet. We even had confirmation half way through the journey that the ROLLER was still present.
We parked on the roadside verges despite what the pagers were saying, as we didn't want to fill up the stately home's car park and not allow the visitors to park there. I could see the Roller from the car as we got out, and we had an extremely pleasant visit. The Roller showed very well, preening at first and then later it started to fly across the field. My first adult Roller in Britain, and a British tick for "Mr Snoozy".
Roller at Aldbrough, East Yorks
Roller by PJ
It started to rain quite heavily, so satisfied with our views, we headed down to Blacktoft, for our second target bird of this mini-twitch. It was nearly 11-00hrs by the time we arrived, and I was concerned that we'd arrived too late to see the MARSH WARBLER that had been present.
We eventually got past the Commandant on the reserve gates (why are all RSPB security guards the same?) and joined the line of expectant watchers. There was no sign. We stood there for about half an hour before, suddenly, out of no where, the Marsh Warbler flew in and started singing right in front of us. We had amazing views as it happily sang to us right out in the open.