A long tiresome journey to Lodmor reserve in Weymouth yesterday proved very worthwhile , all week the pager has been giving me updates of a Short-Billed Dowitcher in Dorset , this being only the 2nd ever recorded in Britain and i was stuck in work until yesterday , i had intended to head off early hours on Saturday morning only things did not go according to plan , but that's another story !!!!
A 5 hour journey ( it should have been only 3 and half hours traffic was a complete nightmare ) finally got me to the site and after a frantic walk and about a 20 minute wait the Short-Billed Dowitcher gave its self up and delightful views were obtained and more importantly the barred tertials were seen which is the key feature in separating Short and Long Billed Dowitcher, the Short Billed Dowitcher was mainly asleep when i first got onto it , the broad white supercillums were very evident , dark crown and barred tertials were also seen , it finally woke up and had a bit of a stretch , sadly the photos i took were hopeless even by my standards however there are plenty of good photos of this bird on http://www.surfbirds.com/ and various blogs on my blog list .
One of many Med Gulls .
I met a birder who had travelled down from Stoke on Trent to see this bird and the poor guy was in " headless chicken mode " he was in a total flap and could not get on the bird at all , so i kindly let him look through my scope which was on 60x and the only thing you could see was the Short Billed , he could not see it !!!! then i looked through his scope whilst he was looking through mine and his scope was on the bird !!!!! but just at that point the bird stood up and walked out of sight and unbelievably he still had not seen it !!! he was totally gutted and you had to feel sorry for him , we have all been there , still after he was making plans to sleep in his car over night the Short Billed Dowitcher reappeared and started to feed along side a Black Tailed Godwit and finally he connected ...lol Other birds of note here were : Water Rail 2 , Sandwich Tern 30+ Med Gull i saw 10 but some birder had a count of 19 plus there were several Black Tailed Godwit and Lapwing .
From here i headed over to Easton on Portland and had some great views of a Monarch , i have seen a couple of these before on Scilly , they are quite stunning and even though this one had a bit of its forewing missing its was still impressive to see .
Just a little bit of forewing missing .
It roosted high in a nearby pine tree .
I had planned to go to Chichester for the Red Footed Falcon but sadly time run out on me so headed for home which was a much more pleasant journey .