This year is going to be a about birding on three fronts with no particular aims apart from seeing good birds!
1. Shropshire birding (as ever) with hopefully one or two more County lifers?
2. UK birding wherever I am on the ‘talk’ scene plus a twitch or two and hopefully a few more lifers along the way!
3. Photo-opportunities anywhere, especially those species missing from the photo gallery on the main website.
With a Short-eared Owl having an early ‘rise’ on Whixall Moss recently, I planned to end the day there but first..... a photo call and a minor detour.....to Lytham and hopefully a confiding Red-necked Grebe.....
The Grebe was there on arrival, certainly confiding – resting in the now redundant boat launch area, unfortunately looking into the sun! The right sort of start though!
The place to be was on the far (West) bank and after waking up, that's exactly where the Grebe opted to go, (a process repeated several times during the morning) in a reasonable wind driven swell....
Red-necked Grebes certainly go for it when diving! Sometimes leaving the water on the plunge downwards!
There's only so many poses you can capture from the swim past, here's a couple of them!
Eventually it was feeding time and first down the hatch was a shrimp-like crustacean of some sort....
Followed by a succession of Sticklebacks, never quite managing to strike the perfect alignment but these will have to do!
By 1.30, I reckoned it was time to nip back to Whixall Moss and having ticked a couple of flyover Ring-necked Parakeets at the local cemetary, I was on my way!
Owls being Owls, it proved to be a no-show so I got my tactics right on the day and had my long overdue 'away day' (and a bird I've never had close enough to the lens before)!