As a fine, wise old birder once said (or was it George Michael?), a lot of umming and aah'ing has been done this week. To go to Weymouth or not? But in the end, after seeing so many Short-billed Dowitchers at Cape May a few months ago, some as close at this one:
Would the views at Lodmoor be any better? Sometimes, birding abroad makes long-distance twitching here a bit of a pointless exercise. Mind you, I could change my mind! But not at the moment.
It also gave the resolve to try even harder around home and make the most of yesterday, despite the settled weather and high water levels. The whole morning was spent at Uttoxeter Quarry, although quite a bit of that was for waiting for the fog to lift. Once it did, it revealed the Greenshank that's been present for nearly a month. Tricky conditions to digiscope it, but you can tell what it is.
Just the one Common Sand left now, but six Snipe were in. Also around were a singles each of Green Sand and Ringed Plover, one Spotted Flycatcher, a Kingfisher and the Egyptian Goose family. A bit of time was spent at Blithfield, nice to see this Wheatear near the causeway, but pretty quiet otherwise.
With the news of a Baillon's Crake breaking through at Rainham Marshes in dear old London town, thoughts turned to Doxey Marshes, just to see how the water levels are looking here. Following a walk around, which revealed 3 Snipe and a Kingfisher. There could easily be crakes lurking in the marshes here, but unfortunately and perhaps not surprising, all of the flashes have no muddy edges to them, to entice a crake out into the open. Indeed, the path to the Water Pipit scrape is still inaccessible without wellies.