Sunday, 9 September 2012

Short-billed Dowitcher at Lodmoor

Saturday 8th September 2012.

A trip to Lodmoor with Brendan. Our target bird being the Long Short-billed Dowitcher.
I picked Brendan up about 05:45 and we made our way down to Lodmoor. Not too bad a journey but more holiday traffic than I expected. We arrived at Lodmoor shortly after 08:00 and made our way around the reserve to where around 30 birders had gathered. Some of the birders I recognised were hampshire birders Dennis (the menace) and "Mad Geoff". We positioned ourselves where the Long-billed Dowitcher had been showing but no immediate success, however, after a couple of minutes we were told that if we moved 10 or 20 metres further along the footpath we should be able to connect.  We moved along the footpath and immediately connected with the juvenile Short-billed Dowitcher. We enjoyed good scope views of the Dowitcher feeding and loosely associating with Common Snipe. Occasionally and quite frustratingly disappearing behind clumps of sedge grass. Also noted at Lodmoor; Cetti's Warbler, Meditteranean Gull, Black-tailed Godwit, Bearded Tit.
Some record shots of the Dowitcher below.

From Lodmoor we headed over to Portland Bill with a brief stop at Ferrybridge on route. 
Ferrybridge was really busy so a brief scan revealed only a single Sanderling.
At the Bill a seawatch was first up but very quiet and only a dozen or so Gannets and a handful of Shag were noted.
A walk around the general area was quiet too with hardly any migrants. We did note the following; Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin, Wheatear, Whitethroat, Meadow Pipit, Peregrine, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Little Owl, Raven, White Wagtail.
White Wagatil pics below.

After Portland we stopped in Easton for some mega butterfly twitching. We visited the ornamental park where many butterflies were on a Buddleia. The biggest and best butterfly was a vagrant Monarch. Also noted were Red Admiral and Painted Lady.
A few Monarch pics below and one Painted Lady pic.

From Easton we headed over to Durlston Country Park in search of Wryneck.
Despite an extensive search of the western perimeter of the reserve we could not find the reported Wryneck. The search involved lots of walking including negotiating quite steep hills. Brendan seemed to struggle with this but I bounded up down them like a young gazelle. The birds we did note on this picturesque reserve were; Whinchat, Wheatear, Spotted Flycatcher, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Blackcap. Stop Press; "Wryneck at Portland Bill today!" 
Durlston Country Park can hold up to 34 species of butterfly. We noted several species with the most noteworthy being; Marbled White and Adonis Blue.
Spotted Flycatcher and Wheatear pics below.


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