Long-billed Dowitcher – 2017 Skokholm

Limnodromus scolopaceusGïach Gylfin-hir Vagrant

A vocal flyover on 1st November looked to be landing on North Pond but pulled up and banked sharply towards South Pond (RDB). A similar descent was made over South Pond, with the bird spiralling in with dangling legs, however it again pulled up before heading east and away from the Island. The high pitched kwip-ip alarm and then straight kwip flight call were both indicative of Long-billed Dowitcher; Short-billed Dowitcher typically give more Turnstone-like notes. The record was accepted by the British Birds Rarities Committee as the fourth for Pembrokeshire.

Skokholm Annual Report 2017

More about the Long-billed Dowitcher in Pembrokeshire

Long-billed Dowitcher – 2015 Skokholm

Limnodromus scolopaceusGïach Gylfin-hir Vagrant

A vocal juvenile which circled North Plain in heavy drizzle on the evening of 20th September was seen and heard sufficiently well to confirm the identification before it roosted on the back of North Pond 50 (RDB, GE, BB, et al.). The bird was seen in flight and heard several times the following morning, although it did not settle and good views seemed unlikely. However the arrival of a juvenile Dunlin appeared to relax the dowitcher and they fed together during the afternoon of the 21st. It was not seen to leave North Pond for the next three days and generally fed alone from the 22nd. There was no sign of it on the 25th following a calm and clear night.

Phot (c) Richard Brown from Skokholm blog 

This was the first record for Skokholm and only the third for Pembrokeshire following first-winter birds at the Gann between 12th December 1987 and 3rd January 1988 and between 1st January and 23rd March 2013 (Rees, 2014).

Skokholm Bird Observatory Annual Report 2015 (Richard Brown & Giselle Eagle)

More about the Long-billed Dowitcher in Pembrokeshire

Long-billed Dowitcher – 2013

Limnodromus scolopaceusGïach Gylfin-hir Vagrant

At c.13:30 on 1st January 2013, I noticed a dowitcher feeding on one of the islands in the freshwater lagoon near the Gann Estuary in Dale, Pembrokeshire.  This wader was generally snipe-like in size, shape and feeding behaviour, but was strikingly grey with a strong white supercillium extending from the base of the long straight bill to behind the eye.   My first instinct was to take a record photo of the bird and then to phone David Astins, who was also birding in the area at the time. I noted the following features while waiting for David Astins to arrive:

Bill: long and straight (snipe-like), mostly black but becoming greenish towards the base.  

Head:  generally grey, but with a slightly darker crown, a dark eyestripe and a broad white supercillium extending from the base of the bill to behind the eye.

Upperparts: generally grey, with darker streaking on the mantle and no warmth in the plumage.  The scapulars and tertials were generally a clean grey with darker centres and pale whitish fringes.

Underparts: breast grey, belly white, barring on the flanks and undertail coverts.

Legs: green.

By the time that David Astins arrived, I was comfortable that the bird was a Long-billed Dowitcher, but had not seen the bird fly nor heard it call.  David stayed with the bird after I had left and noted that when the bird flew it gave a distinctive single sharp trill, which it uttered on several occasions.

Clive Hurford

  Photo (c) Richard Crossen

The bird was last observed on the 13th April, by which time it had been seen by many observers,

More about the Long-billed Dowitcher in Pembrokeshire

Long-billed Dowitcher – 1987 first for Pembrokeshire

Limnodromus scolopaceusGïach Gylfin-hir Vagrant

Although restricted as a breeding species to north-east Siberia, Alaska and north-west Canada, the Long-billed Dowitcher is an almost annual vagrant to Britain and Ireland.

A first winter bird was at the Gann from the 12th December 1987 to the 3rd January 1988.

Late in the afternoon of the 12th December 1987, approaching high tide with a light drizzle falling, Graham Rees was positioned in his car overlooking the upper Gann lagoon when an unfamiliar medium sized wader, with a Snipe like bill and a white patch on its back, flew in to alight on a muddy margin. Viewed through a window mounted telescope it was identified as a Long-billed Dowitcher and a full description was taken.

This was before mobile telephones were available and by the time the observer had returned home to use land lines to spread the word, darkness had descended. However, the bird remained in much the same place until the 3rd January 1988 and was seen by many observers. When flushed, as it was all too frequently by dog walkers, it usually called, adding further confirmation to the identification. The details were submitted to the BBRC who found it acceptable.

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

Photo – Long-billed Dowitcher at the Gann, 2013

More about the Long-billed Dowitcher in Pembrokeshire

Long-billed Dowitcher

Limnodromus scolopaceusGïach Gylfin-hir Vagrant

Long-billed Dowitcher – 2017 Skokholm

Limnodromus scolopaceus – Gïach Gylfin-hir Vagrant A vocal flyover on 1st November looked to be landing on North Pond but pulled up and banked sharply towards South Pond (RDB). A similar descent was made over South Pond, with the bird spiralling in with dangling legs, however it again pulled up before heading east and away […]

Long-billed Dowitcher – 2015 Skokholm

Limnodromus scolopaceus – Gïach Gylfin-hir Vagrant A vocal juvenile which circled North Plain in heavy drizzle on the evening of 20th September was seen and heard sufficiently well to confirm the identification before it roosted on the back of North Pond 50 (RDB, GE, BB, et al.). The bird was seen in flight and heard […]

Long-billed Dowitcher – 2013

Limnodromus scolopaceus – Gïach Gylfin-hir Vagrant At c.13:30 on 1st January 2013, I noticed a dowitcher feeding on one of the islands in the freshwater lagoon near the Gann Estuary in Dale, Pembrokeshire.  This wader was generally snipe-like in size, shape and feeding behaviour, but was strikingly grey with a strong white supercillium extending from […]

Long-billed Dowitcher – 1994

Limnodromus scolopaceus – Gïach Gylfin-hir Vagrant One bird seen at the Gann from 12 December 1987 to 3 January 1988 (G.H.Rees et al) might well have remained through the winter but for frequent disturbance by dog-walkers, an increasing hazard for all our shore-birds. Donovan J.W. & Rees G.H, 1994, Birds of Pembrokeshire Photo – Long-billed Dowitcher […]

Long-billed Dowitcher – 1987 first for Pembrokeshire

Limnodromus scolopaceus – Gïach Gylfin-hir Vagrant Although restricted as a breeding species to north-east Siberia, Alaska and north-west Canada, the Long-billed Dowitcher is an almost annual vagrant to Britain and Ireland. A first winter bird was at the Gann from the 12th December 1987 to the 3rd January 1988. Late in the afternoon of the […]