Friday, 11 September 2009

A Welcome September 'Tick'

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Grey Phalarope - Holkam Beach, Norfolk late winter 2005

There was a time when seeing the bird was enough, but since the Canon took over there are times when I return home a little disappointed. Today was a case in point, but there is no good reason for 'down' when you see a creature of this quality. The text arrived about 10-45 while I was up to my neck in 'clean ship' duties. A 'summer plumage' Red-throated Diver, probably adjacent the King's Statue, Weymouth Seafront. It took 45 minutes to re-locate it, by now close to the Pier Bandstand, but so close to the shore it looked to be feeding in the 3rd roller. A brisk walk to the Jubilee Clock and another long search saw it just disappearing behind the pier. Beach huts obscure the view most of the way to Greenhill but now I had at least had a good scope look at a bird in a plumage infrequently seen hereabouts. Once a clear view was obtained I saw it at the end of the stone groyne opposite the Sea Life Center, and wished I was on those rocks as it was all but touching them. I did walk to the end of the rocky outcrop, but never saw it again despite being joined by Lorne & Sheila Edwards, even venturing as far as the Oasis Cafe. An additional bonus was, I have never seen this species in September before, so why disappointed?

The penultimate posting in the Waders series, and I make no apologies for making it 4 aspects of the same bird. OK, I doubt it has the same status or pulling power for that matter, of Spoon-billed Sandpiper or Ibisbill, but is another of the bizarre 'billed' shorebirds of the world. As I understand it, the bill only ever arcs to the right (from the birds point of view) and why the hell it ever developed like that is beyond me!

Wrybill - Manuaku Harbour, North Island, New Zealand (no idea of Diptera ID)

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