Tuesday, 25 August 2009

High Tide - Dry Day

Well, I thought the day was over until I found there was an outstanding text from Daragh that needed some swift action. A Wood Sandpiper at Lodmoor is not only an excellent bird to see, but a 'year tick' for me, the first since 12th June when we 'twitched' the Somerset Little Bittern. Dinner was at 19-00 and it was already 17-30, but the prophetic words of fellow birder Brett Spence came flooding back from the day I found the Fan-tailed Warbler and he drove back from somewhere like Ringwood pronouncing "there are some things in life much more important than a family holiday" (for family holiday substitute eating) I was soon marching down Abbotsbury Road at full tilt to catch a bus that never seemed to come, and embark on a journey that almost daily seems about 5 minutes when I'm walking. These days I just cannot carry all the kit and the 'scope has long since been forsaken for the camera and lens, so when I did locate 2 small Waders, at great distance, they did seemed to have the look of a WS and a Dunlin, but you can hardly commit that to the notebook. Enter Daragh, stage left, with trusty optic and newly 'acquired' tripod and we had it clinched, number 242 for the year, with the other bird being a Common Sand. As it was I needn't have worried as the photo above accurately tells the story, just look at those under-tail coverts?? As for the bird on the left I'm certain the tail length is right for Spot Sand!
Knot, or Red Knot as they seem to call them these days.

juvenile Mediterranean Gull

Despite an unfavourable forecast and some heavy overnight rain, things seemed set fair for a walk to Ferry Bridge at least. As I approached the Weymouth Fire Station a Hobby flew overhead, and watched as it continued north over the inner harbour and onward to Radipole. The walk was well worth it as the tide was about to flood, the foreshore seemed full of birds, and as I crossed the bridge a Grey Wagtail revealed itself 'on call'. Counts included 10 Little Egret, 2 Lesser & 4 Greater Black-backed Gull, 174 Ringed Plover, 78 Dunlin, 2 Sanderling, 6 Oystercatcher, 5 Turnstone, 4 Mediterranean Gull and a bonus by way of an obliging Knot. There was plenty of time to complete counts and search for that 'rarity', and to make things easier everything was concentrating on eating rather than flying all over the place. It's a steak and a pint with Daragh Croxson & Pete Coe in JD Weatherspoor's this evening so the place will soon be full of feathers and Parrot droppings!