Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Long-billed Dowitcher

When I picked up Martin this morning neither of us had a clue where we were going; at the moment we are both crocks and long walks or arduous climbs are out of the question. So, it had to be somewhere flat and a short walk to be amongst birds. Initially it was going to be a trip to the Sussex commons but in the end, as the weather was so good, we decided on a return trip to Pennington Marshes for another crack at the Long-billed Dowitcher.

When we arrived a tractor was engaged in cutting both the grass and gorse hedges in the fields adjacent to the marsh. This seems to be a developing trend, everywhere we go someone wants to be "gardening". Anyway, shortly after our arrival the driver must have knocked off for a tea break as it went very quiet. On the way down to the sea wall Martin spotted a likely candidate roosting on one of the back pools, all we could see was the bird's back, the bill was tucked away and the legs obscured by vegetation - highly possible! From what we could see we were never going to get a positive ID, then the tractor started up again and everything took flight - well at least the bird had moved. On reaching the sea wall we took a right turn and just as we reached a position opposite the island, there was the bird in the open - ID no problem - the Long-billed Dowitcher. As it was the only bird of interest I suspect our blogs are pretty much the same but at least we had better shots than the ones from the previous bird that inhabited this place a couple of years ago.

The usual routine feed, preen and snooze.

Another Canada Goose showing dubious parentage - crossed with what  I have no idea.

Feeling smug with satisfaction from getting such a great result we dashed back to Farlington for another go at the Bearded Tits, this time in better light. Unfortunately a stiff north easter was blowing and no self respecting Beardies were going to come out and play.

Yesterday I put in a three hour vigil at Beeding cement works, hoping for an emerging Long-tailed Blue. Unfortunately a negative result but I did entertain myself with shots of an Ivy Bee and an unknown wasp, possibly Mellinus arvensis.   

And finally....... one for Dave Shepherd.




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