Saturday, 22 June 2013

Wilson's Phalarope at Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight

It's not very often I leave the Island with the exception of my annual pilgrimage to Skomer but today I decided to twitch the Wilson's Phalarope on the Isle of Wight. We set off at 5am and arrived in Lymington harbour at 7.15am after a quick stop at the golden arches for breakfast. The ferry cost us £55 because we decided to take the car as it was raining. We boarded the 7.45 ferry and landed in Yarmouth at 8.30am (ish)
I had little idea of the direction to point the car knowing only that we were looking for Yarmouth station pond but I luckily turned into Victoria Road which took me into Station Road where I found the station car park (only room for three cars but luckily I parked ok) I got out of the car to view the water in front of the station and to my relief the vagrant from North America was showing with a Redshank and a small group of Black-tailed Godwits. Wilson's Phalarope is now on my list!

The bird is a female and in splendid plumage, a large phalarope which acted more like a wader than the usual phalarope swimming in circle action. We watched the bird from the railway track and managed a couple of record shots. The bird has been present five days now and looks quite settled taking little notice of dog walkers etc and seems to be enjoying the company of a single Redshank between feeding sessions amongst the Godwits. When we left there were around fifteen birders enjoying good views of the bird from the station car park area including fellow Bubo lister Dave Aitken who seems to have the bug as bad as me.
Yarmouth Isle of Wight
Shanklin surf
After spending an hour or so watching the bird we had a quick drive over to Shanklin before returning to the ferry port for our journey home with my year list now at 254 and having enjoyed my first visit to the Isle of Wight but I shall return for a longer stay in the future for sure.

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