Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Lesser Yellowlegs

Back in September we saw a Lesser Yellowlegs at Cliffe Pools. It was a long way off in poor lighting conditions and although there were experts present to confirm that I was looking at a Yellowlegs I could not make the identification. Frustrating but I did not feel that I could count the bird. I went back four times over the next couple of months to see it again but always managed to miss the bird. Then the reports stopped and I assumed that I had missed out on the bird for this year.

I have a hit list of target birds and with a Cetti's Warbler finally seen and photographed the Lesser Yellowlegs had moved to the top of the list.  So, when Dave suggested that we go down to Lepe Country Park to see the one reported there I leapt at the chance.

We set off with our usual ambitious plans, see the Yellowlegs, move on to Pennington to see the Long-billed Dowitcher, and then pick up the Red-breasted Goose. It rarely works out as you plan and by the middle of the afternoon we had little to show for our efforts except a few pictures of Pintails.

Pintail



 
We returned to Lepe for another go at the Yellowlegs and fortunately we then met up with a couple of birders, Keith and Roy, who we had talked to early in the morning. They had found the location of the Yellowlegs about half a kilometre to the west of where we had been looking and and were just heading off to see it, so we tagged along.

View through the 700mm lens - can you spot the Lesser Yellowlegs

The views were again very distant and at first I thought that I would not be able to confirm the sighting. However, a quick look through Keith's scope and a few shots in the camera that showed the identification points that we were looking for and I was happy that I had the right bird.

Easier to spot in this cropped version
 
and a distant shot of the bird flying away - again heavily cropped

I would have liked better pictures but there was no way to get closer. Are they worth putting on the blog? I think so - this is a record of where I have been and what birds I have seen and the Lesser Yellowlegs has played a significant part in my birding year to date (and cost me a bit in petrol).

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