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Sunday, 12 February 2012

One Saturday Morning, Two Lifers ! ..11th Feb

A trip to Slimbridge a couple of weeks ago had failed to yield any lifers, ostensibly because I was unable to connect with either Grey Plover, or the Lesser Scaup that was knocking about.
On Tuesday news filtered through of a Grey Plover at Grimley 20 minutes down the road,   I had no expectation of snaffling this bird, as the prospect of it hanging around until the weekend seemed remote. However, the days ticked by, and reports of it's presence continued. This morning I checked with someone who covers the patch regularly, and got the the green light it was still there, so I jumped in the car and headed for the site. On the way another text arrived with news of a male and female Red- crested Pochard also present at Grimley, another potential lifer ! My right foot got somewhat heavier all of a sudden.Two lifers, in ones native county...ooh err  missus !
I arrived at Camp Lane, ejected from the car and headed for the causeway. The pair of Red Crested Pochard were snoozing, oblivious to my whoops and internal celebrations.The male was resplendent, a real eye catching bird. I spent 15 minutes enjoying the pair.

From where I stood I was not able to see any sign of the Grey Plover, so I drove around to the north end and parked up. However, scanning back towards from where I had just been , I was now starring largely into the sun, bugger !
Not sure of where I could and couldn't access, and not wishing to inadvertently spook the bird, I made a quick call to a hungover Shentone Birder, who reassured me it was OK to proceed down to the flat ground. Very quickly after that I picked up the Grey Lifer, and scoped it for 10 minutes or so, as it gradually scooted from SW to S, eventually becoming difficult to see again.Still, Two lifers on one site!..I had Grey Phalarope there last year. I really think Grimley will give some good birds this year and I know the lie of the land now... I can feel it in my water !

Grey Plover record shot Grimley

 I spent the rest of the day dropping into a few different locations. Interloping onto Stanklyn Lane, there were 5 nice Mistle Thrushes,. At Barnet Brook the Snowdrops were looking mint. At Brakemill Pool I enjoyed snapping the Tufted Ducks which came closer than usual. Finally at a frozen Ladies Pool I had my third close up Buzzard of the day and a pair of Jays may a colourful late afternoon highlight.
Snowdrops Barnet Brook

Male Tufted Duck Brakemill Pool


  1. Do'nt forget to check out the Camp House pub if it's - good beer and scrumpy cider with cobs - you can watch Common Terns fishing from the beer garden on the river.

    laurie -

  2. Sound like a pleasant way to pass a lunchtime, I will check it out when the weather improves