The Portland Naturalist

The Portland Naturalist

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Making a Fuss-cicollis

I made my customary visit first thing to Ferrybridge, while my daily Weymouth commute continues.  I was quite surprised to see absolutely no species of note, not even a Dunlin.  What was rather notable though, was a family of recently fledged Little Terns.  Three birds were together, seemingly harassing a single adult.  Was this a genuine family of three chicks, or just a 'creche'?  Seems a lot to me.  Either way, fingers crossed it looks like the Terns are doing brilliantly this year.

Much of the rest of the day passed largely uneventfully, though I did manage to re-find my Crossbills from yesterday, feeding atop a couple of isolated pines in Wyke.  No bins, so didn't see how many were present.  They were in Belle Vue Road, if anyone's interested.

I checked the bird news shortly before I finished work.  Nothing.  Imagine my annoyance then, when on my return to Weston after a rather snarled-up journey, I see a report of a White-rumped Sandpiper at Lodmoor.  Oh well, gotta go for it!  It could have been a longer journey I suppose!

On my arrival at the viewing hut, the Obs guys were already in attendance, and the bird was showing reasonably close, or be it into the sun.  I moved round to the western path.  More distant, but cracking light, and the views in the scope were excellent, as it cavorted with some Dunlin.  Conveniently, these birds all still had some black on the belly, so the White-rumper was always easy to pick out.  I have seen two White-rumped Sandpiper previously, and I was surprised at how inconspicuous the white supercilium was, almost the same in fact as it's companions, the Dunlin.  I suppose it was moulting.  I did manage a few shots, and some video, but the bird was never quite close enough!

The bird on the left - a comparison with Dunlin.

Look how long and slim it is in comparison.

The video.  You will notice that the birds all flew off later.  Although I saw it's white rump as clear as day myself during this flight, I could not keep up with them with the camera sadly!

Also at Lodmoor was two Greenshank, lots of Mediterranean Gull, and a Snipe.

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