Tuesday, 18 September 2012


8th September was a warm day , and offered a chance to try for the Short-billed Dowitcher in Dorset I was pretty keen, especially having had untickable distant views of the first British record, 13 years ago on Teesside.  We headed there via Rainham Marshes in Kent where a Baillon's Crake had been recorded the previous evening.  Although the crake had shown well first thing it had become more elusive by the time we arrived.  Thankfully we made a decision to leave after over an hour, a good move; I had low expectations of it showing well until the evening (if ever again).  After a roasting in a hot car for sveral hours we reached Dorset, and eventually had reasonable scope views.  Although I was pleased to see this bird it's just frustrating for the sheer number of hours on the road it takes to see such things.  There were also other birds to look at too - so many distractions in fact, I could've spent hours just studying the Hobby that was hawking the marsh for insects, or one of the many Mediterranean Gulls present on the marsh.  One often gets so focussed on the 'rare' that one neglects all the other attractions, and when you know you've got to head all the way back home again you don't have much choice sometimes.  Maybe I should give up twitching?!  Also I was feeling pretty dehydrated too, for much of the day.  At least we saw it though.  We also made a quick excursion to Portland where we had fantastic views of a Monarch butterfly that has presumably also arrived from the west along with the nearctic waders in the past few days.  Many thanks to Mo and Lee for their company, and to Mo for doing all the driving, a big undertaking. 

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