10th May 2011 – Kentish dip

The only bad thing about being a passionate patch birder is that sometimes the birding gods will really shit on you from a great height. Someone else will find something good on the area you’ve been checking daily for weeks, whilst you’re at work, and worse still, the bird quickly vanishes so you also have to suffer the agony of dipping it. Cue yesterday evening. Working again, on another backshift, and of course this means I always run the risk of missing out. But I have to work, I have no option, however this one really hurt, a male Kentish Plover is a dream bird to see on the Solway, and a bird that has been anticipated for many a year. Anyway, despite not getting to bed til 1am last night and with less than 4hrs sleep I was at the railings at first light at 0530hrs. Today was my only day off this week so I wanted to give it my best shot. Upon my arrival I was optimistic, there were loads of Ringed Plover, Dunlin and over 80 Sanderling. But try as I might over the next 3 hrs I couldn’t find the Kentish. And amazingly I was the only birder even bothering to look. This evenings high tide roost had a little more attention with a whopping six birders searching for it but again no sign, but this is where it should’ve been…

 Absolutely no consolation whatsoever was lots of Sanderling…

I picked out a lone Bonxie flying in, and 4 Eider and a few Razorbills also came through. Yippee.

So I’ve come to the conclusion that the only rare birds I ever see in Cumbria are the ones that I find, my strike rate at twitching others is pretty shite to say the least. Not a happy chappy today.

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