I'd previously seen a Cliff Swallow hawking over Porthellick, St.Mary's, Scilly on a sunny autumnal day in September 2000, as well as countless birds on most of my US trips. So what was the point in going to Suffolk and sacrificing on all the sleep? I don't know really, but I felt compelled to as soon as the news broke. It was either this, or chance an Eye-browed Thrush much further away in Northumberland. But with the onset of winter, I genuinely felt that as it was a weekend it'd be rude not to eek out the last bit of quality from this autumn. And, up until yesterday, it was going to be the first autumn since 1994 where I hadn't seen an American landbird. Which saddened me.
And so in all its glory, the Cliff Swallow got up with its seven Swallow companions (did check for erythrogaster but still we await our British first) and showed itself well in bushes behind the visitor centre. With over a couple of hundred in the crowd, must admit that none of the usual twitcher bashing was needed; bar the odd person getting in each other's way, the whole event was harmonious and a decent mainland twitch.
|Cliff Swallow Minsmere RSPB Reserve, Suffolk 5th November 2016|