The B&B we stayed in was excellent, a place called 'Glenwood' on the Bangor side of Betws-y-Coed, the owners Said and Marie were lovely people and we'll certainly stay there again when we go up that way.
After the Choughs of yesterday, we planned to do the touristy thing with the 'chuffers' at the Ffestiniog Railway, but news of the Long-billed Dowitcher at Lodmoor transmogrifying into a Short-billed meant we swapped any thoughts of train rides for a 7 hour drive to Dorset. We set off after breakfast on the non-stop drive to Weymouth arriving at 15:00 hours. My legs had all but seized up and the brisk walk to where the bird was not
showing didn't revive them much, however after a short wait the bird finally showed itself and I forgot my aching lower limbs as the beast performed rather well, if a little distantly, in front of the aquatic vegetation.
This was a British tick for me, the first and last bird being in Rosehearty, Aberdeenshire 11 - 24 September 1999 moving to Greenabella Marsh area, Cleveland until the end of October. I had phased from UK listing at that time and as I had seen them in the USA and was still not 'into' waders as I am now, I didn't make the journey up to see this long staying bird. There had been a previous record in Ireland in 1985, and there has been three records there since in 2000, 2001 and 2004. In short, a flippin' rare bird and no mistake.
|Me and some of the assembled admirers grilling our quarry.|
It was joined at one stage by both a Black-tailed Godwit and a Common Snipe which allowed interesting comparisons of size and features.
|Short-billed Dowitcher with Common Snipe|
|Short-billed Dowitcher with Black-tailed Godwit and Common Snipe partially |
hidden to the left.
Elis gripped me off once again with a Water Rail which I didn't see.
On the way out a male Gadwall was asleep among the many Mallards and looked stunning in the late afternoon sun, as did a lovely Northern Lapwing.
We then wearily drove back to Newport Pagnell arriving at home around 21:00 hours completing a tiring but very satisfactory day.
|The sun setting over the Oxfordshire countryside.|
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