Sunday, 16 September 2012


Last weeks big news was that a Dowitcher at Lodmoor was Britains second Short Billed Dowitcher. Not a problem as we went up for the 1999 bird at Roseharty (though we had to wait, and eventually went up the night it flew off-luckily it was refound in Cleveland so we got it eventually). I also had family commitments with a birthday bash in Bournemouth.
Had I known about the the Monarch on Portland I may have escaped for a couple of hours. I missed a Monarch at Prawle by about ten minutes after twitching a Bobolink and it was a couple of hours before the news got out.
Unbelievably both were still present on Friday so plans were made and Colin and i went down for them yesterday.
Arrived at Easton around 1000 and saw a small crowd in the park. One or two spotted the Monarch behind the fence in a garden and it appeared to fly towards the front of the house. We made our way and peered through the screen wall where I found it feeding on Japanese Anemones. A little while later it went back to the Buddlea in the park and showed very well over the space of forty minutes, but never associated with the much smaller red Admirals.

 The warm sunshine and clear blue skies was not conducive to bird migration-theer were a few Swallows going through and one or two Meadow and Tree Pipits.

We went down to the Bill where we found four Wheatear in the quarry. Little on the sea-one Med Gull, one Yellow Legged and a few Gannets.
A quick stop off at Barleycrates Lane was a waste of time, there were no birds at all. A few Tortoiseshells and a Common Blue were seen.

 Eventually we arrived at Lodmoor at 1230 and the Dowitcher showed almost immediately. Rather distant, the heat haze proved troublesome for the camera. At one point a Snipe could be seen feeding behind it and a Water Rail had a habit of disturbing it.

 We ended the day near Southampton at Badminston Heath. I had heard that a few weeks back a large number of Red Veined Darters had been seen. Unfortunately they were not on the small pools (now dry) on the satellite images but were more likely to have been on a nearby pit that I did not know about. Checked the Common Darters of course but there were no sign of any Red Veined. Did encounter a number of rather late Meadow Browns and Small Heaths though.

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