Today I met up with my old mate and sometime social irritant Tony S. Harsh words I hear you say? not really, TS is a bit like Marmite, people either love him or hate him. Luckily I fall into the former group! Anyway, enough of this daftness...on with the post.
We had started doing a local walk when a message came through informing us of a Great Northern Diver and a Black-necked Grebe at Chelmarsh Reservoir in Shropshire. Chelmarsh is near Bridgnorth and, although in a different county, not all that far away. So we decided to head over and have a look.
We arrived at the sailing club end and asked a couple of their members who were working outside if it was OK to stand there and look for the birds (access isn't generally allowed in this area). They were very amenable and even suggested going further down the track to view by the point, where the bird had last been seen.
On a arriving at the spot we bumped into wildlife photographer and fellow blogger Jim Almond (http://shropshirebirder.blogspot.co.uk/). He informed us that the bird had just dived and disappeared from view but we soon managed to relocate it.
What a cracking looking bird this juvenile Great Northern Diver was. After a while it worked it's way a lot closer affording us some very good scope views at times.
After a while I managed to pick up the Black-necked Grebe amongst the Tufted Ducks. They are not so attractive in winter plumage as in summer but they are still nice birds especially when you catch glimpse of it's blood red eyes.
We spent a bit of time enjoying both birds and I even managed a couple of record shots. Although to be quite honest the light was pants! After a while we decided to leave and shortly after returning to the car it started raining. Fortuitous timing indeed!
Great Northern Diver (juvenile)