Lesser Florican - August 2023

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Sunday 25 February 2018

Weymouth, Dorset 23/2/18

On Friday afternoon I went to see the adult Ross's Gull with Jake that had been frequenting the Weymouth area for two days. The previous afternoon it spent a bit of time at Lodmoor RSPB and so we were hoping the same routine would continue. However, for most of the afternoon there was no sign, and other then a Glaucous Gull and two Spoonbills, it wasn't looking promising. That was until a local birder re-found the Gull about 1.5 miles further east sat on the sea with a large Gull flock consisting of Mediterranean, Black-headed and Common Gulls.

We drove around there quickly and soon located the Ross's Gull sat on the sea roughly 150-200 metres out. Despite the distance, the scope views were good although these views were very disappointing considering the views people have had, and have been getting since Friday. Nonetheless, it was a superb bird and a treat to see, and if it lingers a return visit will be on the cards.

Due to the length of time to see the bird we had little time left to pop into Blashford Lakes for the Thayer's Gull on our return home. Despite making it with twenty minutes of light left, the hide was closed and therefore this led to an impossible search from the opposite side, where at least a lovely flock of 48 Goosanders were present.

Glaucous Gull at Lodmoor RPSB
Dutch-ringed Spoonbill at Lodmoor RPSB
Spoonbill at Lodmoor RPSB

Ross's Gull at Weymouth
Photo taken by Lee GR Evans
On Saturday, it was a shame to dip the Purple Sandpiper at Splash Point, more so as this would have been a patch tick, despite the regular wintering flock at Newhaven being only two miles away. A walk down the Cuckmere found nothing of interest, and a return to Splash Point I was greeted by Neil and Dick who had found a Red-throated Diver on the beach entangled in fishing line. Neil had already phoned the WRAS (Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service - East Sussex) and so I picked up the bird and wrapped it in a blanket on the back seat. It was then taken away by the WRAS where fingers crossed this very perky Diver will return back to the Channel. 

Earlier on in the week I was pleased to see a pair of displaying Goshawks, although the cold wind didn't help to the longevity of the displaying.

Red-throated Diver