With having my motor back I had already pencilled in a trip to either Clee or Grimley with Tony (well I am going to have to repay the hospitality extended to me by some of my birding mates over recent weeks). That morning I had received a text off another birding contact informing me that a Sanderling and Spotted Redshank had been reported at Grimley Gravel Pits, so our choice of destination was made for us.
We headed straight to Wagon Wheel Lane pits where the aforementioned birds had been reported only to be greeted by a Common Redshank and a winter plumage Dunlin, the only 2 waders present at the pits. It's not for me to say if these were the birds that were mis-identified. Perhaps there had been a Spotted Redshank and a Sanderling there a couple of hours earlier that had since moved out and been replaced by these birds. I guess I will never know but either way I was disappointed!
Feeling a bit down beat we headed over to Camp Lane pits where the most notable bird was a Little Egret. Usually this species is seen at this site late summer/early autumn and it is uncommon to see one here in the winter months.
Numbers of wintering ducks are building up at the site with the following species noted: Gadwall, Mallard, Pochard, Shoveler, Teal, Tufted Duck and Wigeon. Good numbers of Little Grebe were noted at Camp Lane, as was a ♂ Kestrel.
Our final stop around the Grimley area was Sling Pool at Holt. Good numbers of wildfowl were again present here and whilst scanning we were treated to brief views of a Kingfisher zipping past.
On the way back home we had a whistle-stop visit too the patch. At Heath Lane paddock there was a single Mistle Thrush and at least 8 Blackbirds present. Other than those there was little else of note.
At Stanklyn Lane paddocks there were still good numbers of Blackbirds present feeding on the Hawthorn berries and to my surprise a single Fieldfare was feeding on the ground. This is fairly unusual this time of year as they don't normally start feeding on the deck until after all the berries/fruit has been exhausted.
Also of note at the paddocks was a Common Buzzard, a Green Woodpecker and a single Jay.
All in all it had been a bit of a mixed day. Although disappointing at times it was still great to get out the house, even if I did have to listen to Tony telling me how Gary Sinise had solved the crime again in CSI (don't ask!)
Dunlin - Wagon Wheel Lane Pits
Redshank - Wagon Wheel Lane Pits