I took part in some filthy twitching with Russ today, in the hope of connecting with a juvenile Short-billed Dowitcher that was residing at Lodmoor RSPB.
It was a far cry from my first experience of this mega wader that I saw on a beach in Roseharty, Aberdeenshire with my old mate Sam. I checked my old notebook for the date and it was the 15th September 1999. Back then the bird gave much closer views as it fed on the beach amongst other waders including Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint and Bar-tailed Godwits.
The afternoon at Lodmoor was all rather frustrating! The bird showed as soon as we arrived, but the views were very poor due to the distance and haze. Certainly not allowing the grilling that the bird deserved. So, after a further 5.5 hrs the bird finally gave itself up at around 18.45hrs and, as predicted, flew in to the nearer Juncus clumps and showed much closer. However, the bird was always in and out of the vegetation and seemed nervous amongst the nearby gull roost. Not the prolonged views I was hoping for, but enough to get some record shots and video that show some of the finer plumage detail such as tertials, scapulars, tail and crown, all required to confidently id.
An impressive Med Gull roost gave rise to at least 130 birds of various ages, many of which were colour-ringed.
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|Short-billed Dowitcher - Lodmoor RSPB|