Sunday, 23 September 2012

Short-billed Dowitcher, Lodmoor

Having been present since the 3rd September and being only the 2nd record for Britain, The Short-billed Dowitcher finally tempts us to make the 163 mile journey to try for it.
We leave at 5am and after a brief stop for coffee we reach the car park at Lodmoor around 8am.

Leaving the car we meet the same birder who got us on the Pec Sandpiper at Minsmere the previous week. He's already leaving, but tells us that the bird was showing really well. After some brief directions we set off across the road and head off along the track.
Short-billed Dowitcher
Reaching the area where the bird has been favouring, We get straight onto the bird as it is seen feeding along the edge of the reeds.

I grab a couple of very poor record shots and continue to enjoy the great scope views that the bird is giving. It seems to favour the area in front of the back edge of the reeds and works it's way right and then turns and heads back along the same path to continue to feed.
While enjoying the views of the Dowitcher, there's also good views of Water Rail, juvenile Med Gull, adult and juvenile Sandwich Terns and Snipe to be had.
A Common Buzzard is spotted by Brian perched on a fence post and a Grey Heron flies in and starts to fish in front of us.
It catches a fish and while some birders try to work out what kind of fish it's caught, the heron makes very short work of it.

Migrant Hawker
Having enjoyed great views of the Dowitcher, we leave and head off towards Portland Bill. Here I enjoy views of Wheatears and Meadow Pipits feeding among the rocks.
Next stop is the BTO bird observatory . the moth trap has been out the previous evening and there's plenty of moths on view as we sort through the egg cartons in the bucket.
A Raven flies through and calls noisily as it moves off. It's quiet this morning with nothing of note being trapped or seen. 
Radipole Lake is the last stop, and with not much on show we concentrate on dragonflies.
Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters are numerous and I grab a few shots when they finally decide to settle on the reeds.
House Sparrow
We head for home, the drive at this time of day is slower and an accident on the M3 adds extra time to the journey. But it's only a minor inconvenience to us and we're thankful it's not us involved in the accident.

Home at 5.30 having enjoyed great views of the Dowitcher and added another Mega to my list.

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