Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Lesser Yellowlegs & Long-billed Dowitcher

I came away from our last trip to Lepe Country Park happy that I had seen a Lesser Yellowlegs and happy that I had a record shot to prove it. It was a good result after the four failed attempts at the Cliffe Pools bird. However, the record shot was heavily cropped and there was scope for improvement

Looking at the map of the Dark Water area I estimate that it was taken from a distance of over 200 metres so I was lucky to get anything recognisable on the shot. The challenge was to get closer to the bird and with recent report putting it back on the Stansore Point pool the opportunity was there. So this morning Dave and I headed off into Hampshire once again.

It took a while to locate the bird. It was on the back of the pool and out of sight for most of the time so we had a long wait in the biting cold wind. Fortunately there were plenty of small birds around to practice on whilst we waited. My favourite being the Dunnock.


Eventually the bird relocated towards the front of the pool, a distance of about 60 metres. Still not ideal but at least we could get some better shots.

Lesser Yellowlegs

We waited to see if it would come closer but instead it took off and disappeared over the back of the pool. It was getting colder so we decided to relocate ourselves and went off to find the local cafe and a cup of hot tea.

Next stop was Pennington Marsh where I was hoping to improve on my pictures of the Long-billed Dowitcher. Another long wait in the cold wind but eventually we found it on the back of the Jetty Pool. I will spare you most of the pictures. It a shy bird and its nature is to stay well hidden in the reeds and today this one was living up to its reputation.

Long-billed Dowitcher in hiding

I would have liked to have got better pictures but you can't win every time. We were lucky. How often is it that you get see two rare American vagrants in one day?

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