Thursday, 6 September 2012

Get Shorty

The Long billed Dowitcher reported at Lodmoor on Monday only raised a few eyebrows as a bit early for a juvenile, but by Tuesday some pics were available and Rich Bonsor noticed the tertials looked a bit stripy. Just before midnight the word went out that it had been ‘conclusively identified’ as Short billed from new photos. Since I’d been out the night before, and I hate dipping, I waited until positive news on Wednesday morning and set off through the London rush hour for Dorset, arriving around 10am. It had last been seen around 8am and I had a long wait until it eventually showed for a few minutes in a little channel between patches of juncus (or something like that, there was a big discussion on whether it was juncus or something with a longer name – as you can tell I know nothing about plants). After a few more views as it worked its way around the channels it eventually flew and started feeding in open water giving brilliant views.
The shot above shows the internal stripping on the tertials and greater coverts and a bit of the tail pattern with the white and black bars of around equal width. You can also (just) see the relatively long primary projection (at least compared to typical Long billed) which is shown better in the following shot.