There was some excitement among the birdwatching community this week when a rare bird turned up in Portland, Dorset.
This pectoral sandpiper ("Calidris" melanotos) probably came from the Arctic regions of North America and would not normally come to the United Kingdom, presumably drifting somewhat of course due to inexperience. This juvenile arrived midweek in a small green in the Easton district of Portland and has been much photographed ever since. Unbothered by humans, quite possibly never having seen one before, it continued to explore its small patch of turf rooting for daddy long-legs larvae, even when some kids played football nearby, though a cat was removed from the scene lest its interest proved unfavorable for the bird. Its name derives from the sudden cessation of the grey markings on its breast.
I and my brother saw the sandpiper as we were returning from a photographic foray at Portland Bill, but chose this blip as it was the rarest and most unique and memorable sighting of the day.
Rock plant #1
Rock plant #2
And after the sandpiper we encountered some unusual animals in a Dorset field.
A Visit To Portland Bill, 10 September 2010 (Flickr album of 57 images)