Wednesday, 14 October 2009

LBD at Cockersands.

Long-billed Dowitchers in Canada.

With thanks to Stuart Piner and the excellent RBA pager service it was good to see a bird of substance again at Cockersands where I have personally been having some very mixed fortunes of late. Being conveniently at Conder Green yesterday and planning a return to Lancaster when SP found the Long-billed Dowitcher and my pager 'bleeped' to tell me this news, I was able to be standing next to him within a matter of a few minutes to be told 'it's disappeared' and was thought to be on the other side of the estuary with the Golden Plovers it and been associating with at the time it was found, a few anxious minutes ensued, but wait......SP has identified the call of the bird in flight - the most diagnostic feature of this species - and moments later I had the delight of telling Stuart 'its here in front of us' giving excellent views.

The Long-billed Dowitcher numbers found in Britain have dramatically increased since the mid 1970's. The first record was of one found on the Devonshire coast on a date in October 1801. It was later found to have been a first-winter male, light in weight and in poor condition, it was presumed to have just crossed the Atlantic and soon died. The bird was 'christened' with two names 'Brown Snipe' and later 'Red-breasted Snipe' before eventually taking the name we know it by today. It is my second, the first being on the Eric Morecambe Pool in 1998.

Thanks to Paul Baker in BC Canada for the photograph. 


Warren Baker said...

Nice one Pete. Had one a few miles from my patch two years ago, I don't think I would be able ID one from the call though!

Pete Woodruff said...

Been/are a 'few' in the UK at the moment.

I was very impressed by the skills of this birder - who I know well - in identifying this bird on call though not at all surprised I must add.

Thanks for comments Warren.