Tuesday 30th August 2011 - Gailey Reservoir & Shenstone

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  ;-)


  1. Nice one, Jason.
    Hoping one day, Red-necked Grebe graces my patch.
    ps - i know it wasn`t on your patch.

  2. You did it well, the Sandwich Gull and the Red-necked Grebe.

  3. Double Redstart ! will I ever see the day :-)

  4. Cheers Dean - There is more chance of the pope converting to Islam than one turn up on patch at Captain's Pool

    Thanks Bob.

    Cheers Warren..I know I feel the same about your double Whinchat day ;-)