An early start and a few birders had already seen the Red-necked Grebe: the bird found all the attention too much and kept its head firmly secreted into its back feathers. When it wasn’t sleeping it could be found diving for a variety of fish and amphibians and at times struggled to get down the larger fish. Eventually my perseverance paid off when it swam and settled close to the banks and provided excellent views. Unfortunately that was the time my camera battery ran out of juice and I missed the opportunity of getting some really close images.
On the Weaver estuary a Whooper Swan was present and may have health issues? Nine Great Crested Grebe, 56 Tufted Duck, a pair of Shoveler, 6 Gadwall and several Common Shelduck made up a mixed bag of ducks.
The first born Avocet chick was again with its parents which have kept the first pool free of any other birds apart from a family of Lapwings which have fought for the right to feed there. The second pools saw 50 (1st summer plumaged) Black-headed Gulls, 2 brief Black-tailed Godwit and a single Ringed Plover. The third pool held the second pair of Avocet with two chicks(?). If you have a pair of 3D spectacles then use them to view my experimental image (above) of an Avocet taken today, otherwise take an aspirin your may be having a migraine!
During the course of the observation the fine male Marsh Harrier drifted in much to the consternation of all of the resident birds.
Second billing to the RNG went to the drake Lesser Scaup still present on No.6 tank with a selection of Tufted Duck, Gadwall and two drake and a female Shoveler.
A Greenshank (pictured) dropped in and then went to sleep with the occasional tew tew call.
A Hobby was over Godscroft Lane (PC) and a hovering Common Buzzard was caught on camera by TB over Lordship Marsh in the early evening light.
The Red-legged Partridge count increased by one to two birds along Half Furlong Lane and a Grasshopper Warbler was heard there aswell (AH).
Two of the old deposit tanks held a carpet of Southern Marsh with Pyramidal and Spotted (hybrid?) Orchids emerging and in flower.
Paul Crawley’s video of the RNG from today here…https://vimeo.com/96991643
Observers: Tony Broome (Greenshank image), Arthur Harrison, Colin Paul, Paul Crawley (video), Frank Duff, Paul Ralston, WSM (and images).