After dropping MrB’s lovely sister off at the airport last week, we decided to take advantage of the early start and go birding. Not only would it be quieter but the incoming tide meant it was likely to be a good session. And it was, in fact it was extraordinary. The extraordinary moments began with an enormous fling of Dunlins arriving in front of a flock of Flamingoes.

There were about 150 Flamingoes and they had been joined by at least 300 Dunlins. And they're off againThere were also other waders, including a few Ruffs and around 100 avocets in the next pond. We thought this was pretty special, but as we were attempting to count them something else happened which turned an excellent birding session into an unforgettable one. The Dunlins suddenly became agitated and took off again. We couldn’t initially see why as we were some distance off and there were no walkers or cyclists in the vicinity.  Then we spotted the cause. A Peregrine Falcon was after his dinner.

Not sure if it was successful, but it certainly split up the fling of Dunlins and for a few moments even the Flamingoes looked as though were going to leave the pond. However they stayed, much to the relief to the small huddle of Redshanks, Ruffs and Godwits around their feet.

This whole moment couldn’t lasted more than a few minutes. It might have been our knowledge of tides and good birding locations that brought us to this spot, but it was pure luck we happened to be standing where we were when the Falcon went a’hunting. Two more wonderful moments followed this one, but I’ll keep those for another post. I’ll finish instead with another shot of the Flamingoes.

Greater Flamingoes

Back to sleep, drama over!