Another look

Far sharper bird brains than mine have already given the Long-Billed Dowitcher at Marshside a good grilling, so after a squint in the last hour of light as the bird dozed yesterday, the least I could do was have a proper look today.
Still in the same area on Crossens Inner at the end of Glencoyne Drive, the bird was roosting at first (sigh) in the high wind and overcast conditions, but it stirred and began to feed just across the channel from the fenceline, giving observers ample time to scrutinise all the features of this interesting bird.
The primaries seemed a little longer today, but I put this down to the strong wind sleeking out its plumage, at other times they looked as short as yesterday.
The tail had thick dark bars and the flanks were heavily barred of course.
The bill however still looked small for a Long Billed Dowitcher.

Previous Long-Billeds on the marsh often seem on the point of tripping over their beezers the bills are so long – not this bird.
Its feeding action seemed a bit different too – more crouched and staying at the edge of the water, but again this could just have been down to the strong wind, which nearly blew it over once or twice while it was dozing.
John Wright heard it giving a nice Long-Billed call today, and I believe others have heard it call too.
I tried a few video clips (buckle up if you suffer from motion sickness, it was mighty windy and tripods are for scopes, not cameras) which you can watch on You Tube here and here.
What folk describe as an “instructive” bird then, which is of course, a euphemism for something that twists your melon.
So there you have it, the shortest billed Long-Billed Dowitcher in the world!!!
The mild conditions and strong wind put an exciting fizz into the air, so I nipped round to Crossens Outer for a good buffetting – one of the Great White Egrets was striding about and one, possibly two, Water Pipits were with the big Pied Wagtail flock (as were a few Mipits) just to the west of the first cow tunnel past the Crossens pull-in.
Too far away, too dark and too blowy for a decent pic, I had a bash anyway.
Sorry, I should know better by now.

If you didn’t have motion sickness after watching my dowitcher vids, hold tight for my Water Pipit extravaganza on You Tube here – 25 seconds of shaky out of focus pain.
Maybe try again on a calmer day John. With a tripod.
*Should you want to learn more about dowitcher pitfalls, try this old British Birds paper.
Probably outta date now, but still good to me.

3 thoughts on “Another look

  1. My first bird book was The Observers Book of Birds back in 1958, with a dust cover showing a Fieldfare; how exotic and impossible it seemed way back then. They’ve been a permanent part of my favourites list ever since I saw my first one many years ago, but it was still a thrill to watch a flock of 30 or so Fieldfares on the stubble behind our house this morning. Flighty as ever, but an impressive, beautiful bird.
    PS: I was outside late last night and heard a very strange call from a bird passing over. Hard to describe, but imagine a baritone Pinky, then add echo. We have feral Canada geese overhead quite often but not one of those either. I’ve something similar before, in Somerset, and was told that was a Crane….😳


    Liked by 1 person

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