Grey Phalarope

Mid-October, low pressure, tightly-packed isobars, strong winds and rain = inland seabirds, although not many – as is usual for Northamptonshire. After a couple of foul weather fly-bys, including one watched briefly by Gary Pullan at Hollowell Res on Monday (13th) followed by fleeting views of two at Pitsford Res by David Arden yesterday, Bob Bullock finally nailed one at Pitsford at lunchtime today.

First-winter Grey Phalarope, Pitsford Res, 15th October 2014 (Bob Bullock)

First-winter Grey Phalarope, Pitsford Res, 15th October 2014 (Bob Bullock)

First-winter Grey Phalarope, Pitsford Res, 15th October 2014 (Bob Bullock)

First-winter Grey Phalarope, Pitsford Res, 15th October 2014 (Bob Bullock)

Grey Phalarope is by no means an annual visitor to Northants, with many previous records relating to storm-driven individuals in late autumn.  Dark, rufous-fringed tertials, strong salmon wash to breast and predominantly dark bill age this bird as a first-winter.

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