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Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Lodmoor DOWITCHER gives itself up this afternoon

In Dorset, a juvenile SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER is present for its third day at Lodmoor Reserve, just east of Weymouth. Initially distant and difficult to view, photographic evidence suggested Short-billed and after several hours today, the bird finally showed exceptionally well, wading out in shallow water and feeding at just 70 yards distance. It is generally keeping company with Common Snipe and is favouring a section of dense sedges visible by looking east from the footpath that skirts the western fringe of the reserve. It spends very long periods out of view (up to four hours at a time) and rarely leaves the shelter of the sedges.

Parking is available in the adjacent council car park but is expensive at £1.00 per hour. There are two vantage points overlooking this part of the reserve - 1) the main footpath that flanks west or 2) the higher ground of the former landfill site accessed from by the recycling centre.

It represents the 402nd species of the year and was today admired by just under 160 observers. It is the first to be seen since 1999.

It is really rare waders all the way at the moment with the long-staying adult LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER still on the South Lake at Slimbridge WWT (Gloucs), a wave of AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER arrivals today with adults on North Ronaldsay (Orkney), on the Cefni Estuary at malltraeth (Anglesey), SW of Glasson (Lancs) at Cockersands Sands Country Park and on St Mary's (Scilly) and a juvenile at the Butt of Lewis (Outer Hebrides), a juvenile BAIRD'S SANDPIPER for a third day at Seaton Carew, Teesmouth (Cleveland), a juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER in Gott Bay on Tiree (Argyll), a juvenile LESSER YELLOWLEGS at Kingmill Lake (Cornwall), BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS at Marazion Beach (Cornwall) and on St Mary's Airfield (Scilly) (two birds) and PECTORAL SANDPIPERS at Lockwood Reservoir, Walthamstow (Greater London), Burton Mere Wetlands (Cheshire), Gibraltar Point NNR (Lincs) and at New Lambton, Washington (County Durham).

High pressure and very light winds in the south is surprisingly failing to produce many drift migrants but ORTOLAN BUNTINGS were seen at both West Bexington and Hengistbury Head (Dorset), a juvenile RED-BACKED SHRIKE remains at Wembury Point (South Devon), at least 15 WRYNECKS remain but of course are generally shy and retiring, a BARRED WARBLER at Burnham Overy Dunes (North Norfolk) and a COMMON ROSEFINCH on Tiree (Argyll). A ship-assisted male SPANISH SPARROW at landguard Point (Suffolk) has infiltrated the local House Sparrow clan and is to be found at dawn leaving the Custom House Buddleia roost-site.

IRELAND has also been dominated by Nearctic wader arrivals with a WILSON'S PHALAROPE at Kinsale Marsh (Co. Cork), BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS at tacumshin (Wexford), Bridges of Ross (Clare), Kilshannig (Kerry) and Carrahane Strand (Kerry). A FORSTER'S TERN also lingered at Soldier's Point, Dundalk (Louth) until 1st whilst the male SNOWY OWL remains on Arranmore Islands (Mayo).