Sunday, 20 November 2011

Sandpipers on the rocks

We had friends visiting from Cornwall this weekend and as they were heading off at lunchtime today it seemed rude not to accompany them as far as Lyme Regis where a Spotted Sandpiper just happened to be hanging out. I took non-birder Alec with me to look for a Rose-Coloured Starling in Weymouth en route. I saw it, but it flew before I could get him onto it. He assured me he would get over the disappointment, 'in about 5 seconds'.
Purple (left) and Spotted Sandpipers on The Cobb, Lyme Regis
On arrival in Lyme town centre I recognised the shape of Poole Harbour stalwart Shaun Robson in alien habitat at the end of the Cobb - a rare foray away from Lytchett Bay. This was a good indication of the best place to start looking for the Sandpiper.

Rock Pipit
Shaun confirmed that the bird, a Dorset tick for me, was still there, hopping around the rocks among more sedentary Purple Sandpipers. In the half-hour we were there we must have shown it to 20 passers-by through the telescope, all of whom seemed surprisingly interested in this distant, small brown wader from the Americas. Back in town, Rock Pipits and a Black Redstart performed on the sea defences in glorious afternoon light.
Black Redstart

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