Monday, 18 February 2013

Pied-billed Grebe, Ham Wall RSPB reserve, Somerset

Wasn't expecting one of these last weekend! What a great bird for Somerset, the last one in the region being at Blagdon Lake in 1968. A tense and nervous Saturday was spent on a pre-arranged shopping day in Taunton, the news having come out the previous evening. OMG! I even offered to buy everything on Amazon as 'it would be quicker, easier and probably cheaper' to do so, but no, the good lady wanted a day in Taunton and so the nail biting began. Very early on Sunday morning (Dave Helliar had an equally sleepless night as he couldn't get there on Saturday either), Mr H and I arrived at Ham Wall before sunrise and managed to get brief but fairly decent views as it woke up and started feeding, oh the relief. Just as well, it didn't show again for well over an hour by which time we both had frostbite. Eventually it showed again and in brilliant sunshine, great scope views but crap distance for good photos...

Pied-billed grebe: Roger Harris

Pied-billed grebe: Roger Harris

Marsh Harrier, male: Roger Harris

I had to go and thaw out after the pied-billed grebe but Dave went on to see the American Wigeon currently gracing Bowling Green Marsh in Devon, another corker:

American Wigeon, drake: Dave Helliar

American Wigeon, drake: Dave Helliar

Meanwhile Andy Grinter (who saw the PBG on the Saturday) had a great time at Blashford Lakes in Hampshire, where he once again challenged an avian friend to a staring competition...

Bittern, Blashford Lakes: Andy Grinter

Lovely shot Andy.

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