Today myself and Tony travelled up to Gailey Reservoir in Staffordshire to hopefully see the long staying summer plumage Red-necked Grebe. As members of the West Midlands Bird Club access to this reservoir is allowed with your WMBC permit.
On arrival at around 12:45pm we walked on to the causeway and it was long before we had great views of the stunning looking Red-necked Grebe. The only down side was the light was so poor that I was unable to get any photos to do the bird justice. I did however get a bit of video footage which I will put up later in this post.
Things got even better and at just before 1:30pm an adult Sandwich Tern dropped in and started plunge diving for fish, coming pretty close to the causeway at one point. We watched the bird successfully catch a couple of times before it went and rested up on the island. The bird was still present and fishing when we left at 2:30pm. What a result! I've attached a record shot below.
Also of note at Gailey was a single Ringed Plover that was working the mud on the opposite side of the reservoir from the causeway, 8 Swifts and a single drake Pochard. There were good numbers of Tufted Duck, Great-crested Grebe and Little Grebe present. The only gulls we recorded were Black-headed and Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
Sandwich Tern with Black-headed Gulls
Click on photo to enlarge
Click on video to enlarge
As I was about to drop Tony off home something strange happened, I missed the turning and headed on auto-pilot to Shenstone. Well it would be rude not to have a quick look after that, so we headed to Stanklyn paddocks.
When we arrive my old friend 'horse bloke', his missus, 2 teenagers and a dog were just leaving. Of course, after hours of their furtling about the paddock was birdless. What was interesting though was that literally minutes after they had gone 6 Pied Wagtails dropped in and started feeding around the feet of the horses. Better still 2 imm.
♂Common Redstarts flitted out of the hedgerow and onto the wooden fence. These were new birds in so to say I was pleased was an understatement! A family party of 3+ Chiffchaff were flycatching and flitting around the left-hand hedgerow and 2 Robins also made there presence known.
Nearby, a ♀ Sparrowhawk was sat perched in a bush next to the gallops field and a Jay was making a racket from Stanklyn Wood. I'm glad i missed that turning after all ;-)