Saturday, 16 September 2017

The American Search

On Tuesday  12th September I had arranged to take my son to RSPB Radipole to see if we could get is first sighting of a Bearded Tit. Just before we were about to leave I received a tweet from a fellow birder Mark Andrews informing me that a Grey Phalarope was currently on Longham South Lake. This is a bird the breeds in Iceland and the high Arctic and as role reversal with female much bright coloured and after breeding leaves all the work for the male bird to incubate the eggs and rear the chick. So being a bird I had not seen before and only the 2nd since September 2009 I delayed our departure and headed of to see the bird. It was a lovely little bird though a bit distant  and being a small bird was hard to get a shot of but I managed a couple of phone scope record shots
Grey Phalarope

Grey Phalarope
After this I shot back home picked my son up and headed of to RSPB Radipole, knowing that two rare North Amercian birds were present at Lodmoor. We got to Radipole and walked round the Buddila loop and down to the north screen hoping to pick up the beardie but this was not to be. So after a spot of lunch I decided we should go to Lodmoor to see the rare waders and we might just pick up a Bearded Tit there in the reed bed. As we arrived at the parking spot a birder was just walking back to is car so I asked it the Stilt Sandpiper and Least Sandpiper were still about, but the news was good and bad as he told me the the Stilt had just flown due to being spooked by a helicopter but the Least was still about and there was some Bearded Tits in the reed bed We mad our way through the reeds and caught a glimpse of a bird flying from stem to stem. I made my way round to the shelter by the hump were there was a lot of people so not much room. We managed to squeeze in and just about see the Least Sandpiper through the scrub! We made our way back to the reed bed,but stopped by two benches and managed to get good scope views of the Least Sandpiper which I was pleased with even though it was distant. While standing here I noticed a large crowd on the other side of the reserve . We made our way quickly to the reed bed were we waited a while to see it we could get better views of a Bearded Tit, one called very loudly then flew across the path in front of us a new bird for my son. On arriving round at the other side I inquired if the Stilt sand was still about,the answer that came back was not the on I wanted "its just flown over to the west side mate" just were we had come from! Never mind I thought as it was now time to head home I could come back in the week.

Friday 15th I went down to Lodmoor in the morning hoping to catch up with the Stilt Sandpiper. But that was not to be as I was told it had just flown again! to the middle as of the reserve, like others spent the next two hours looking and hoping it would show. In the mean time I  had very nice views ( much better than Tuesdays sighting) of the Least Stint a very interesting bird it was nice to see it next to Ringed Plovers and Dunlin which looked rather big against the stint.
As the other sandpiper was  not showing I headed off to Portland were I got some nice views of my 1st Wryneck a wonderful well camouflaged bird in the grass bank to the right of the obs quarry. But no Buff Breasted Sandpiper as asking around it had not been seen since early morning. So back to Lodmoor and still no Stilt Sandpiper, apparently after 5hrs one of the birders there told me., at this point I decided to go back to Longham Lakes for the early in the morning I had a tweet to tell me a Little Stint was showing. Arrived at Longham in the late afternoon and with some luck it was  still there and with the least still fresh in my mind if was good to see the Litter Stint and compare the details. Both look different but the same if you get what I mean . The legs were strikingly different  with the least having a pale straw looking colour the the legs and the little dark/ black legs and the least having a brighter richer colour to the upper parts than the little . A White Wagtails and Yellow made for a nice distraction at Lomoor.
Record phonescoped shot of a Wryneck

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