This wasn't the plan for today. I was going to take my mother to Middleton RSPB, had a quick look on tinternet to see if there was an opening time orf new car park etc. To begin with the website says the site is opening at the end of the month, I thought it opened mid May, and no access till 10am. Whats that all about?? I had to be at work for 12.00 so we knocked the idea on the head and I came to Croxall instead. A walk upto the hide and a scan produced Common Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Canada Geese, Swift, Oystercatcher, Coot, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Dunnock, Willow Warbler, Reed Warbler, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Black Headed Gull, Reed Bunting, Mallard, Great Tit, Cormorant, House Martin, Mute Swan, 17 Dunlin, 1 Sanderling, Grey Heron, 2 Ringed Plover, 3 Little Ringed Plover, Stock Dove, Starling and Magpie. Through to the east side and a quick look in the hide and I added Buzzard, Rook, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Gadwall and a single Common Tern along the river. Back towards the car and I added Pied Wagtail, Blackbird and a very showy Garden Warbler. Nice.
On to the patch and I had a look at the pool from the Tamworth road as I could look along the pool. I noted Stock Dove, Carrion Crow, Wren, Canada Geese, Greylag Geese, Mute Swan, Tufted Duck, Coot, Greenfinch, Black Headed Gull, Lapwing and plenty of Swifts. A drive around thge corner, park up the car and then off around the lanes and I added Swallow, Tree Sparrow, Shelduck, Skylark, Chaffinch, Pied Wagtail, Corn Bunting, Common Whitethroat, Yellow Wagtail, Yellowhammer, Kestrel, Blackbird, Linnet, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Reed Bunting, Long-tailed Tit, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Mallard and Magpie. Onto the pool and I couldnt add anything else. Off to work for a couple of hours now:-(
During the training I had my pager on and I was suddenly awoken with news of a Red-necked Phalarope at Blithfield. Cracking. It would bve a welcome addition to my Staffs and year list. As soon as the van was parked up the car was motoring through Kings Bromley, Hamstell Ridware, Abbots Bromley then on to Blithers. The bird was in Tad Bay so I headed through the gate and past the feeder station full to a, I assumed, full hide. I opened the doors and it was empty!!!! Then I remembered there is another hide to the right. I decided to have a scan from this hide as I could see the majority of the shoreline. Birds noted to this point were Chiffchaff, Hobby over the car park area, Robin, Great Tit, Mute Swan, Black Headed Gull, Great Crested Grebe, Mallard, Yellow Wagtail, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Pied Wagtail, Coot, Grey Heron, Lapwing, Blackcap, Pheasant, Cormorant, Garden Warbler, Gadwall, Shoveler and Shelduck. There was no sign of the Phalarope along the shoreline then I noticed a slack bit of water. A quick scan and there was the Red-necked Phalarope. Distant but superb and by looking at the plumage it was a smart female but I could be very wrong. Superb. After feasting on then bird in the hide all on my own I headed around the point and into Blithe Bay before heading home. Other birds noted were Buzzard, Swift, Teal, Wren, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Spotted Flycatcher (year tick), Great Spotted Woodpecker, Mistle Thrush, Lesser Black-backed Gull and a couple of Long-tailed Tits. Quality. Then it was back home to get the car ready and pack for a couple of days in Norfolk. Come on.