What a difference a week makes; the previous weekend there were three ticks available in Hampshire, all within spitting distance of Lymington. As we were entertaining Emma and Amber in Norfolk and Jane was with her sister in York, mid-week, we couldn’t get away until last Friday afternoon. Bed & breakfast at the rather ordinary Bosun’s Chair and we were set for a day ‘ticking up’, albeit that only one of our target birds had been reported during the week… there’s nothing wrong with a bit of ornithological optimism! We had the Lesser Yellowlegs safely under our belts by 9.30, leaving us the rest of the day to concentrate on the long-staying Red-breasted Goose and Long-billed Dowitcher. Suffice it to say that neither deemed to show to us and I have to console myself with one tick and another small step towards the ‘big 300’. The RBG did put in a brief appearance, late morning, but we failed to connect. Still, we did have a nice days birding which included several Spotted Redshank, Pintail and Slavonian Grebe – all species we’d have been very pleased to add to the list, earlier in the year.
Distant digipics of the Lesser Yellowlegs, a rare wader from North America, which occasionally over-winter in Britain
With only five full weeks of 2013 left, I’m now becoming increasingly doubtful about this 300 thing happening… this is the emotional roller coaster of big year listing. Oh well, he says through slightly gritted teeth!
Postcript: speaking of birds that are always nice to see, I snapped these Common Crane on my way back to Peterborough on Friday. They were in their regular wintering spot at Guyhirn, south of the A47, opposite the Chill Out Cafe.