Another chilled out day with glorious sunshine all morning. I had planned to continue working on the dissertation until I saw Mark Reeder had a Black-necked Grebe down at Orgreave. Without hesitation I set off to go and get it seen. Being a Grebe I had little doubt that it would still be present when I arrived, which was around half 10, and I was not disappointed.
The Grebe showed incredibly well, swimming fairly close to the bank without much fear at all. I managed to get some fairly reasonable record shots, which I'm happy with. The bird even called at times, which is not a call I'm familiar with, but it was pretty awesome to hear.
The grebe was my 162 species of the year, arriving shortly after my 161st; Common Sandpiper. Sadly the sandpiper was not approachable in any way, flying to the other side of the lake when I was nowhere even remotely close to it. No record shot there then.
Of course, as is often the case with most birds, whenever Wheatears are present they upstage ever other bird on site, and today was no exception. There were Wheatears everywhere, including some birds standing off against each other by spreading their tails. They are just simply such awesome birds.
There were hosts of other goodies too, including White Wagtails, Redshank, 5 Common Buzzard all in the air at the same time with 2 Sparrowhawks, 1 solitary Yellow Wagtail, Goosanders and two really smart Lesser Redpoll, although sadly they were badly obscured by the trees they were feeding on.
Black-necked Grebe was not my only patch tick today though. Whilst on my way back round the small lake, in the hope of getting a shot of Common Sandpiper, I flushed a much rare prize. I missed it until I had already flush it, Green Sandpiper, but fortunately it landed on the island. Distant but still able to get a record shot. They are not common birds here, with only a couple of records per year, so to have stumbled across this one was really nice.
It was certainly a pleasant morning, and now I have the afternoon to write up some more on the dissertation.
Orgreave Lakes: Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Woodpigeon, Great Tit, Skylark, Blackbird, Willow Warbler, Wren, Lapwing, Common Buzzard, Feral Pigeon, Chaffinch, Magpie, Linnet, Mallard, Carrion Crow, Black-headed Gull, Coot, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Gadwall, Redshank, Tufted Duck, Common Sandpiper, Oystercatcher, Grey Heron, Great-crested Grebe, Meadow Pipit, Goosander, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Starling, Black-necked Grebe, Long-tailed Tit, Blackcap, Dunnock, Sand Martin, Pied Wagtail, Wheatear, Swallow, Common Teal, Green Sandpiper, Sparrowhawk, Moorhen