Saturday 12th March 2016
The long billed dowitcher is a strange bird. A cross between a snipe and a sandpiper with an elegant body but such a long thick bill. This bird seems a bit funny to me.
My best friend Oli picked me up at 7am and he drove to Keyhaven Marshes in Hampshire, a long 2 hour drive through Dorset and into Hampshire. A short walk through the fog produced gulls, mute swan, mallard and blackbird. further down the path is an area of gorse bushes. Darting around these bushes was a pair of Dartford warblers. A short stroll took us to the lagoon there. We stopped to look at a little egret. Suddenly, in flew the long billed dowitcher. After much confusion I locked eyes on it. A dog came running towards us and we thought it might fly away, instead it came closer to the path. Passing Oli my binoculars (my scope was already set up on the tripod), I shuffled down the bank onto a lower river's edge, clutching my camera. I got 5 meters from it! 5m from a rare bird. Not everyday that happens. This was why I love birding. Here's a photo of it:
We then drove to Blashford Lakes. Parking there was interesting as Oli misjudged the distance and we crashed into a wall, slightly denting the car (whoops!). There we heard two green woodpeckers and saw gulls, little grebe, mallard, pintail, shoveler, teal, great crested grebe, Egyptian goose, Canada geese, cormorants and a slavonian grebe (another first for me).