Thursday, 30 March 2017

Patch MEGA: Red-necked Grebe at Salford Priors Gravel Pits

A weekend of patch birding started on Saturday full of hope of finding an early Wheatear, Blackcap or even a passing Osprey, yet despite searching the only new arrivals were more Chiffchaffs.

Sunday started well, which I'll write an additional blog about. After checking Pophills & the plantation & finding a couple of Chiffchaff I started scanning the main pit. My main intention was to spend most of my time looking for Wheatear but a strange sleeping Grebe caught my eye. Its size was like a Red-necked Grebe but surely not here at Salford Priors. I sprinted to the car for my scope before double checking my original thoughts which were confirmed when the bird woke up and started to feed. 

To find a Red-necked Grebe, a first record for the site, was brilliant but to find one displaying summer plumage was just unbelievable. These grebes winter in western & southern Europe and it did strike my mind it could be the bird from Draycote Water relocating. However another Warwickshire birder confirmed that bird was still present. Most of the regulars made the trip down to see the stunning species and there were a few twitchers in the afternoon. 

I managed to take a few records shots and a bit of video for the site records before heading home. Paul was present into the evening when the bird was still there however there was no sign on Monday, not unexpected. 

Other sightings included 6 Green Sandpiper, 7 Sand Martin, 2 Oystercatcher, 3 Little Ringed Plover.

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