On Friday morning I was woken from my deep slumber with a couple of text messages (you know who you are:-)) asking if the Red-breasted Merganser was still present, having been at work til 3am and rather tired I slowly made my way down to Westport to find the aforementioned Merganser still showing very well, also new in was a female Shoveler.
Saturday and I left Westport to Nick and co, having had a few late shifts at work I deserved a lie in, they had a pretty good morning with the Red-breasted Merganser still present. thanks to Phil Jones and Steve Seal for the photo's below.
Also present at Westport, and all new in was 3 Wigeon, a female Goldeneye and a female Pheasant on the old sewage works.
Eventually Nick & George picked me up and we made our way down to South Staffs to see what we could find on the gravel pits, along the way news came in of a Greater Yellowlegs at Northumberland and left us wondering if we should be heading off up north or stick and await news, in the end sighting were few and far between of the Yellowlegs and we'd made the right decision to stick local.
First stop was Branston Gravel Pits, we flushed 7 Red-legged Partridge as we made our way along the path and as usual Pheasants were everywhere, a couple of Tree Sparrows along the hedge was a nice record for here, on the scrape a single Green Sandpiper was in it's usual place (I don't think it's moved for a few months now), as we made our way through 'Dead Man's' Wood there were good numbers of Finches and Tit's which included at least 2 Goldcrests and a Marsh Tit which was a re tick for me in Staffs not being sure were I'd seen my last ones over 15 years previously!
The sky was full of Golden Plovers flying over, there were well over 500 including a good number on the sandy pit but with workers still on site and a couple of lads driving around with guns we were unable to do a proper count, also present on the sandy pit, 3 Ruff, 2 Dunlin, 8 Curlew and a Redshank, finally were made our way to the south pit were another 10 Curlew were present and 4 Little Egrets.
After lunch we headed off the our undisclosed site, bird of the day here was a nice adult winter Little Gull with a small flock of Black-headed Gulls, we counted the wildfowl which were in good numbers and also had another Little Egret and 2 Redshank, a nice day out and we didn't get wet!
Sunday at Westport and Nick had the Red-breasted Merganser still, there was no sign of the female Shoveler or Goldeneye but 5 Pochard were new in.
A new service for Westport is a Twitter service from Nick, just go to Twitter and search WestportLake1, here you can follow Westport news and have news sent direct to your mobile.