Monday, 29 August 2011

Gailey Grebe

We’ve not had a great deal of time for birding while we’ve been in the UK but a Red-necked Grebe at Gailey Reservoir, just 10 miles away, eventually proved irresistible. The bird was first seen on 15th August and is still present today.

Red-necked Grebes are mainly winter visitors to Staffordshire and this one seems to be only the second to turn up in August, a previous one being seen at Tittesworth Reservoir in August, 1996.

Over the years, Chasewater and Blithfield Reservoir have been the most popular Staffordshire waters to host Red-necked Grebes but there has been one previous record at Gailey, a long-staying individual in February 1972 (which Peter also saw!).

Attempts to photograph the bird were hampered by the fact that we left Canon cameras and lenses in Portugal but we have just acquired a Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ-100 and so were able to at least get a record shot in very unfavourable conditions. We’re hoping that the Panasonic will prove to be a handy alternative to the heavyweight gear but we haven’t yet had an opportunity for a proper try-out.

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