A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Least Sandpiper - Lodmoor RSPB, Dorset!

With a juvenile Least Sandpiper making an appearance down at Lodmoor RSPB in Dorset and staying on throughout the week, it would have been rude not to pay a visit, especially as it would be a new addition to our British lists. Unfortunately two back to back leaving parties meant Sunday was the only free day to travel down, and with Alex agreeing to wait a day we made the mammoth journey down south in an attempt to connect with this transatlantic vagrant. 
Least Sandpiper - Lodmoor RSPB, Dorset
The Least Sand! 
With news coming out early in the morning and with the Least Sandpiper already having been in residence on the Dorset scrapes for a week, we were relatively certain it would hang on for the remainder of the day. Sure enough. pulling up in the car park 4 and a bit hours later (via several closed road diversions - it turns out a local Ironman Triathlon was taking place right on the roads surrounding Lodmoor RSPB and rendering them impassable!) we were met with the alert going off to signal the Least Sand was thankfully still showing from the viewing platform.

Navigating the many fences, bikes and lycra clad runners that the triathlon had brought with it, we eventually made it on to the reserve, and after a quick check around the shallow scrapes and pools we were soon watching this dainty American wader. 
Least Sandpiper - Lodmoor RSPB, Dorset
Least Sandpiper - Lodmoor RSPB, Dorset
The Least Sandpiper tended to loosely associate with a small flock of Dunlin as well as the Little Stint
Lodmoor RSPB, Dorset
Lodmoor RSPB
Extremely small in size and helpfully accompanying a Little Stint for comparison, once you got your eye in it was relatively easy to pick out as it foraged through the mud – the slightly more russet tones and light green legs of the Least Sandpiper standing out from the much paler Little Stint, as well as its slightly smaller size.
Least Sandpiper - Lodmoor RSPB, Dorset
Least Sandpiper - Lodmoor RSPB, Dorset
Least Sandpiper on the left and Little Stint on the right - note the paler colouration of the Little Stint and the stronger markings
Having seen Least Sandpipers during our trip to Florida the previous spring this was our first individual on British soil (mud?!) and it was great to finally catch up with one after the showy Devon bird last year prematurely departed before we could organise a weekend visit. With no sign yesterday evening or this morning, it seems the Lodmoor bird has also finally departed – thankfully it stayed until the Sunday for us! 
Least Sandpiper - Lodmoor RSPB, Dorset
Lodmoor RSPB, Dorset
The south east corner where the Least Sandpiper favoured
A less than annual visitor to UK shores, the Dorset bird (also being a first for the county) is just the 39th record for Britain, and is one of a long line of American waders to recently make landfall in the South West, alongside a strong supporting cast of Stilt, Buff-breasted, Spotted and Baird’s Sandpipers.

Alex's video of the Dorset Least Sandpiper

The dubious of origin drake Hooded Merganser at nearby Radipole Lake - luckily I've already seen a legit female in Gloucestershire! 
After a quick stop at nearby Radipole Lake on the way home to get my very first glimpses of the notorious drake Hooded Merganser that now resides there (of slightly dubious origin and unfortunately in eclipse plumage), we braved the M5 closure traffic and the 2 hour detour that came with it, heading home happy that we had made the effort to travel down south. With just Upland Sandpiper the missing piece of the jigsaw in terms of the sandpiper family on my British list, here’s hoping one makes landfall soon – preferably in the North West!

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Florida Birding Trip Report (28th March - 9th April 2016) - Photo Gallery

Florida Trip Photo Gallery: Lifers

American Avocet - Merritt Island, Florida
American Avocet - Merritt Island (29th March)
American Bittern - Lust Road Wildlife Drive, Florida
American Bittern - Lust Road Wildlife Drive (6th April)
American Coot - Merritt Island, Florida
American Coot - Merritt Island (29th March)
American Purple Gallinule - Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Florida
American Purple Gallinule - Wakodahatchee Wetlands (2nd April)
American White Ibis - Merritt Island, Florida
American White Ibis - Merritt Island (29th March)
American White Pelican - Merritt Island, Florida
American White Pelican - Merritt Island (29th March)
Anhinga - Green Cay Wetlands, Florida
Anhinga - Green Cay Wetlands (2nd April)
Bachman's Sparrow - Three Lakes WMA, Florida
Bachman's Sparrow - Three Lakes WMA (31st March)
Barred Owl - Mead Botanical Garden, Florida
Barred Owl - Mead Botanical Garden (30th March)
Belted Kingfisher - Merritt Island, Florida
Belted Kingfisher - Merritt Island (29th March)
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck - Eagle Lakes Community Park, Florida
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck - Eagle Lakes Community Park (5th April)
Black-headed Stilt - Lust Road Wildlife Drive, Florida
Black-headed Stilt - Lust Road Wildlife Drive (9th April)
Black-whiskered Vireo - Dry Tortugas NP, Florida
Black-whiskered Vireo - Dry Tortugas NP (4th April)
Blue Grosbeak - Dry Tortugas NP, Florida
Blue Grosbeak - Dry Tortugas NP (4th April)
Blue-headed Vireo - Orlando, Florida
Blue-headed Vireo - Orlando (28th March)
Bronzed Cowbird - Eagle Lakes Community Park, Florida
Bronzed Cowbird - Eagle Lakes Community Park (5th April)
Brown Booby - Dry Tortugas NP, Florida
Brown Booby - Dry Tortugas NP (4th April)
Brown Noddy - Dry Tortugas NP, Florida
Brown Noddy - Dry Tortugas NP (4th April)
Brown Pelican - Bunche Beach, Florida
Brown Pelican - Bunche Beach (6th April)
Brown-headed Nuthatch - Three Lakes WMA, Florida
Brown-headed Nuthatch - Three Lakes WMA (31st March)
Burrowing Owl - Brian Piccolo Park, Florida
Burrowing Owl - Brian Piccolo Park (1st April)
Carolina Wren - Mead Botanical Garden, Florida
Carolina Wren - Mead Botanical Garden (30th March)
Cave Swallow - Cutler Bay, Florida
Cave Swallow - Cutler Bay (3rd April)
Common Gallinule - Merritt Island, Florida
Common Gallinule - Merritt Island (29th April)
Common Ground Dove - Fort De Soto, Florida
Common Ground Dove - Fort De Soto (7th April)
Common Myna - Florida City, Florida
Common Myna - Florida City (3rd April)
Crested Caracara - Three Lakes WMA, Florida
Crested Caracara - Three Lakes WMA (31st March)
Eastern Meadowlark - Three Lakes WMA, Florida
Eastern Meadowlark - Three Lakes WMA (31st March)
Eastern Screech Owl - Green Cay Wetlands, Florida
Eastern Screech Owl - Green Cay Wetlands (2nd April)
Florida Scrub Jay - Merritt Island, Florida
Florida Scrub Jay - Merritt Island (29th March)
Fulvous Whistling Duck - Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, Florida
Fulvous Whistling Duck - Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive (9th April)
Gray Kingbird - Josie Billie Highway, Florida
Gray Kingbird - Josie Billie Highway (1st April)
Gray-headed Swamphen - Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Florida
Gray-headed Swamphen - Wakodahatchee Wetlands (2nd April)
Great Horned Owl - Key Largo, Florida
Great Horned Owl - Key Largo (4th April)
Killdeer - Joe Overstreet Road, Florida
Killdeer - Joe Overstreet Road (31st March) 
Least Sandpiper - Bunche Beach, Florida
Least Sandpiper - Bunche Beach (6th April)
Limpkin - Viera Wetlands, Florida
Limpkin - Viera Wetlands (30th March)
Loggerhead Shrike - Viera Wetlands, Florida
Loggerhead Shrike - Viera Wetlands (30th March)
Louisiana Waterthrush - Dry Tortugas NP, Florida
Louisiana Waterthrush - Dry Tortugas NP (4th April)
Magnificent Frigatebird - Dry Tortugas NP, Florida
Magnificent Frigatebird - Dry Tortugas NP (4th April)
Mangrove Cuckoo - Black Point Park Marina, Florida
Mangrove Cuckoo - Black Point Park Marina (3rd April)
Marbled Godwit - Fort De Soto, Florida
Marbled Godwit - Fort De Soto (7th April)
Masked Booby - Hospital Key, Florida
Masked Booby - Hospital Key (4th April)
Mottled Duck - Merritt Island, Florida
Mottled Duck - Merritt Island (29th March)
Nanday Parakeet - Fort De Soto, Florida
Nanday Parakeet - Fort De Soto (7th April)
Orchard Oriole - Dry Tortugas NP, Florida
Orchard Oriole - Dry Tortugas NP (4th April)
Painted Bunting - Felts Audubon Preserve, Florida
Painted Bunting - Felts Audubon Preserve (6th April)
Palm Warbler - Orlando, Florida
Palm Warbler - Orlando (28th March)
Pine Warbler - Three Lakes WMA, Florida
Pine Warbler - Three Lakes WMA (31st March)
Piping Plover - Bunche Beach, Florida
Piping Plover - Bunche Beach (6th April)
Prairie Warbler - Mead Botanical Garden, Florida
Prairie Warbler - Mead Botanical Garden (30th March)
Prothonotary Warbler - Dry Tortuagas NP, Florida
Prothonotary Warbler - Dry Tortuagas NP (4th April)
Purple Martin - Green Cay Wetlands, Florida
Purple Martin - Green Cay Wetlands (2nd April)
Red-cockaded Woodpecker - Three Lakes WMA, Florida
Red-cockaded Woodpecker - Three Lakes WMA (31st March)
Reddish Egret - Fort De Soto, Florida
Reddish Egret - Fort De Soto (7th April)
Redhead - Tierra Verde, Florida
Redhead - Tierra Verde (6th April)
Red-headed Woodpecker - Three Lakes WMA, Florida
Red-headed Woodpecker - Three Lakes WMA (31st March)
Red-shouldered Hawk - Three Lakes WMA, Florida
Red-shouldered Hawk - Three Lakes WMA (31st March)
Roseate Spoonbill - Viera Wetlands, Florida
Roseate Spoonbill - Viera Wetlands (30th March)
Royal Tern - Carlos Pointe, Florida
Royal Tern - Carlos Pointe (6th April)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - Orlando, Florida
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - Orlando (29th March)
Sandhill Crane - Joe Overstreet Road, Florida
Sandhill Crane - Joe Overstreet Road (31st March)
Savannah Sparrow - St John's River, Florida
Savannah Sparrow - St John's River (29th March)
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher - Clewiston, Florida
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher - Clewiston (1st April)
Sharp-shinned Hawk - Mead Botanical Garden, Florida
Sharp-shinned Hawk - Mead Botanical Garden (30th March)
Smooth-billed Ani - Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge, Florida
Smooth-billed Ani - Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge (2nd April)
Snail Kite - Joe Overstreet Landing, Florida
Snail Kite - Joe Overstreet Landing (31st March)
Snowy Plover - Carlos Pointe, Florida
Snowy Plover - Carlos Pointe (6th April)
Sooty Tern - Dry Tortugas NP, Florida
Sooty Tern - Dry Tortugas NP (4th April)
Spot-breasted Oriole - Markham Park, Florida
Spot-breasted Oriole - Markham Park (1st April)

Summer Tanager - Dry Tortugas NP, Florida
Summer Tanager - Dry Tortugas NP (4th April)
Swallow-tailed Kite - Stormwater Treatment Area 5/6, Florida
Swallow-tailed Kite - Stormwater Treatment Area 5/6 (1st April)
Western Kingbird - Clewiston, Florida
Western Kingbird - Clewiston (1st April)
White-crowned Pigeon - Key West, Florida
White-crowned Pigeon - Key West (3rd April)
Wild Turkey - Three Lakes WMA, Florida
Wild Turkey - Three Lakes WMA (31st March)
Wilson's Plover - Carlos Pointe, Florida
Wilson's Plover - Carlos Pointe (6th April)
Wood Stork - Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Florida
Wood Stork - Wakodahatchee Wetlands (2nd April)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Mead Botanical Garden, Florida
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Mead Botanical Garden (30th March)
Yellow-crowned Night Heron - Dry Tortugas NP, Florida
Yellow-crowned Night Heron - Dry Tortugas NP (4th April)
Yellow-throated Warbler - Merritt Island, Florida
Yellow-throated Warbler - Merritt Island (29th March)
Zenaida Dove - Long Key SP, Florida
Zenaida Dove - Long Key SP (3rd April)
Non-lifers:
American Goldfinch - Mead Botanical Garden, Florida
American Goldfinch - Mead Botanical Garden (30th March)
American Kestrel - Joe Overstreet Road, Florida
American Kestrel - Joe Overstreet Road (31st March)
Bald Eagle - Joe Overstreet Road, Florida
Bald Eagle - Joe Overstreet Road (31st March)
Black and White Warbler - Fort De Soto, Florida
Black and White Warbler - Fort De Soto (7th April)
Black Skimmer - Merritt Island, Florida
Black Skimmer - Merritt Island (29th March)
Cape May Warbler - Fort De Soto, Florida
Cape May Warbler - Fort De Soto (7th April)
Double-crested Cormorant - Merritt Island, Florida
Double-crested Cormorant - Merritt Island (29th March)
Eastern Bluebird - Three Lakes WMA, Florida
Eastern Bluebird - Three Lakes WMA (31st March)
Fish Crow - Merritt Island, Florida
Fish Crow - Merritt Island (29th March)
Great Crested Flycatcher - Mead Botanical Garden, Florida
Great Crested Flycatcher - Mead Botanical Garden (30th March)
Green Heron - Viera Wetlands, Florida
Green Heron - Viera Wetlands (30th March)
Hooded Warbler - Dry Tortugas NP, Florida
Hooded Warbler - Dry Tortugas NP (4th April)
Indigo Bunting - Felts Audubon Preserve, Florida
Indigo Bunting - Felts Audubon Preserve (6th April)
Least Tern - Carlos Pointe, Florida
Least Tern - Carlos Pointe (6th April)
Little Blue Heron - Eagle Lakes Community Park, Florida
Little Blue Heron - Eagle Lakes Community Park (5th April)
Ovenbird - Dry Tortugas NP, Florida
Ovenbird - Dry Tortugas NP (4th April)
Pileated Woodpecker - Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Florida
Pileated Woodpecker - Wakodahatchee Wetlands (2nd April)
Semipalmated Plover - Merritt Island, Florida
Semipalmated Plover - Merritt Island (29th March)
Snowy Egret - Merritt Island, Florida
Snowy Egret - Merritt Island (29th March)
Tricoloured Heron - Viera Wetlands, Florida
Tricoloured Heron - Viera Wetlands (30th March)
Willet - Bunche Beach, Florida
Willet - Bunche Beach (6th April)
Yellow-rumped Warbler - Orlando, Florida
Yellow-rumped Warbler - Orlando (28th March)

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