Thursday, 7 January 2016

Slavonian Grebe

The theme of quality birds in 2016 continues.

The weather was horrendous today so I did some jobs around the house until lunch. The forecast predicted that it would brighten up in the didn't. In fact it got worse, much worse. I had to get out, so I headed down to Kilnsea, I thought I'd sit in the hide for a while and keep dry. As if by magic the pager sounded..."Slav Grebe Kilnsea Wetlands"!!! That's handy, I said to myself!

I sent Gavin and Phil a text and continued. On arrival I could see Phil's car and Paul Collin's truck. A couple of other birders arrived but I was going nowhere as the rain hammered against my car. I figured the bird wasn't going anywhere soon and the hide might be a bit of a squeeze, so I waited. I have to admit though it didn't look like clearing.

After around 20 minutes the 2 birders arrived back at their car. One of them came over, it was Adam Hutt. I wished him a Happy New Year and we had a chat for a while (the rain had eased a little). Then as he left, Phil appeared. He said the bird was still present so I decided to make my move to the hide to join Paul.

The wind was increasing significantly which was making the water choppy but at least the rain had eased. I was hoping this might enable me to get some sort of image of the Grebe. On joining Paul he informed me that the bird was coming reasonably close on occasions but was diving almost constantly. Sounded like a good challenge.

Not the biggest bird but significantly chunkier and more solid looking than the Little it was associating with. I was also taken by the clean lines of the bird giving it a distinct "pied" appearance, even in the poor light.

My best effort...

I reckon the brief weather window I grabbed enabled me to at least get some sort of image as the weather deteriorated even further a the afternoon progressed. It was virtually dark by 3 when I made my exit.

Other additions to the Year list included a Little Gull which hung around for 5 minutes before being blown elsewhere...

I was chuffed to even get this in the viewfinder a sit was tossed around like a piece of paper in the now gale force wind. A bonus bird.

I also added Teal, Grey Plover and Goldeneye (male) to the Patch year list.

As I was driving down to the cliff to give Bud a last blast, Sparrowhawk was added as a female shot across the front of the car.

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