Stormy weather overnight with a front coming in from the SW provided the Farm with another MEGA. Nick “Pyro “Gardner was doing his 100mph rounds when he spied a Grey Phalarope in flight over the Enclosed lagoons.
He phoned Dodge who was in the hide trying to coax out a Cetti’s Warbler that was giving out the odd brief contact call. Dodge’s whispers soon ceased when the news was relayed about the second record for Beddington Farm. The first record was in October 1987 where an adult winter stayed for three days arriving on the 19th and remaining until the 22nd.
The usual chaos of getting the news out ensued and then the heavens decided to open up which took another casualty in the form of a brolly which turned inside out on the first gust of wind. I made it over the mud bound mound and joined Frank Prater who incidentally used to be in the same class as me in infants and junior schools (over 100yrs ago now!!). I took a quick look through his telescope shook hands and then contemplated a soaking in order to get some pictures of the MEGA. Pinpoint and Swift arrived soon after.
I made the decision to make my way down to the lagoons and bumped into Pyro and Derek along the way. After brief congratulations I decided to dig in by some machinery on the edge of the lagoons. The heavens made me very welcome as I huddled under the now wrecked brolly and I sat out the short down pour.
The Phalarope seemed content on the sludge lagoons which had plenty of small pools on it for the bird to practice its spinning top feeding action. I moved further back to a set of concrete steps and set myself up waterproofs and all and waited for the right moment to capture some shots of the bird.
The bird would take irregular short flights over the lagoons and luckily enough for me in landed about 20m away on a dry piece of sludge. The camera work went into overdrive for a few minutes with plenty of setting changes in an attempt to get the best results in far from ideal conditions.
By now I was slightly soaked having crawled commando style in some “Gunk!!” and decided to quit while I was ahead and return to the hide. This bird is my third Beddington tick of the year, incidentally my second tick the Bearded Reedling are still present on site!! The Phalarope was still present this afternoon so fingers crossed it will stay into tomorrow Woo hoo!!