Sunday, 4 September 2016

Purple Swamphen - Alkborough Flats

I was told the other day that the best view of Scunthorpe was the one in your rear view mirror as you left. Not so, at least the section i saw of it today as we skirted its edges heading for Alkborough Flats.

The usual New builds; yes our National Home Builders all think we want to live in the same one of three styled house. And Whitton itself was a beautiful little village.

I picked Monkey up at 5.15am on Saturday morning and we were in Mcdonalds a couple of hours later for the obligatory twitch sausage and egg.

My initial view of Alkborough flats were that they were indeed flat and as such aptly named.


We parked up in the car park as advised by RBA and made our way down the hill to the flats themselves only to find that you couldn't see the Swamphen from down here. It took a local, who to fair to him must have made this trip a lot helping hapless twitchers out, to escort us back up hill along a path down a small road to the livery gates where we could view the bird if it showed. Distantly though.

It turns out that the car park was about two minutes walk from here, if only we had known.......

Oh wait, we did know know!! Jonny Holiday had told us where to go prior to getting here and in his own words - Inept.....

So for any who read this: park in the car park as per RBA. Walk straight toward the tree line. Then turn left (Do not head down to the right). Walk the tree line (with it to your right, field to left). After a while the tree line will clear and you will see a road, a path down to the road has been made by birders (not a true path). Take it. Head back on yourself along the road to end and livery gates.


The livery owner greeted all at his gate, he was quite an amusing chap. Advising don't go on his land, don't touch his fence, it was electric and don't look with scopes through his windows at his wife getting changed as it really wouldn't be worth it.

Anyway the sun was out, it was warm, we had our view point and shortly after the Purple Swamphen made an appearance. For the next hour or so it made regular appearances and we had decent views though distant but there would be getting no closer unless if flew to one of the pools with a hide. It didn't and its still being viewed from the same pool today.

After hearing of some Ruddy Shelduck from Tower hide we decided to explore Alkborough Flats.  6x Spoonbill, 2x Spotted Redshank, 4x Ruddy Shelduck, numerous Black Tailed Godwit, Redshank, Barnacle, Canada, Greylag Geese.

The weather had now turned, the rain started to fall heavily and we made our way back to the car; we stopped again at the livery for a bit but then decided enough was enough and made our way home......via McDonalds