To get a break from the stress of trying to arrange Wader
Quest and banging my head against many brick walls, worrying about why people just
don’t return e-mails instead of saying they can’t help so I can move on etc. We
decided a day out was required, and as there was a tick for Elis in the form of
Red-necked Phalarope at Slimbridge, we set off in that direction in the company
of Gyorgy Szimuly (Szimi). The Long-billed Dowitcher was also still around so we looked
for it at the usual place. It wasn’t there, but we learned that the phalarope
had been seen, so went after that in the Zeiss hide. It was very distant as you
can see from the photos but at least it was there.
We were disappointed not to see the Long-billed Dowitcher
(which was later seen elsewhere) as we had hoped to see both dowitcher species
on the same day.
|Small white dot aka Red-necked Phalarope|
The second part of the plan was to stop on the way to
Weymouth to see the Buff-breasted Sandpiper near Taunton, but there was no news
so we shot by and arrived at Lodmoor in a downpour.
Undaunted (this was a lifer for Szimi) we set off in pursuit
of our quarry. As is always the case with long staying rarities, the interest
had dwindled and what with the rain, no-one was there to help us look. We did
stop and speck to one chap who said he hadn’t seen it. Szimi and I went to
where Elis and I had seen it before, Elis busied herself taking photos of any
bird that would sit still long enough. We scanned the reed edge and waited for
it to emerge.
|Me and Szimi|
The chap we had spoken to earlier came up and asked if we
had seen the dowitcher, we said no, but that we were canning the reed edge
“I wouldn’t bother” he said “it’s out there in the open!”
And so it was! How did we not see that? We were slightly exonerated when the
chap said it had just flown in.
We then spent an hour watching the
bird that was showing well, but Elis was nowhere to be seen. The bird then flew
to the far side of the pool, just as Elis arrived with her camera. She got more
record shots, but it was further away than last time!
A bit closer were some Mediterranean Gulls in various
|1st winter Mediterranean Gull (centre)|
adult winter (front right)
|Adult winter (front right)|
|Adult winter (mid left)|
Other birds seen at the site were;
We had a quick look at the sea but only saw some distant
Gannets and then bimbled back to HQ. A great day all-in-all.
|Szimi Gannet watching|
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