April 30th  2005

Burnthouse lane GPs

After a serious ornithological night shift (see bird race) Fraser Cottington found whimbrel and a stunning Summer plumage Spotted redshank at Burnthouse lane just before 6am. So after a few hours at Dorney I went to see if I could get either ...

The whimbrel showed well until about 10:30 when three (or possibly four) more whimbrel called overhead and it appeared to have joined them to circle and eventually drop below the bank south of the pits (a whimbrel was seen later in the northern part of the pit & so it may be that the single bird never joined the others). Dave Rimes & I went to see if they were in the fields there. They were. They were quite distant and in the centre of what turned out to be a bean field. Derek Barker turned up at the site a little later. Dave left at about 11 and ... at 11:06 I was scanning the rest of the field when the unmistakable head & shoulders of a dotterel appeared from between the legumes. It was a very smart female and two more, male, heads quickly appeared beside it. A hectic call brought Dave running back, thank goodness for mobiles! The distance made photography impossible (cf photo left) but a "trip" of dotterel was nevertheless a pleasant find ;o)

Two bright male whinchat, three wheatear, a very obliging little owl, 4+ dunlin, oystercatcher and three yellow wags entertained the cream of Berkshire birding,  for the rest of the morning 

Note: view the "Status bar" (View menu) to see a log of the birds today

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