Decisions, decisions. What do I do today? I really wanted to check out the local pits to keep my records going but there was also a few year decent ticks out there. I decided for the latter.
I arrived around 08.30 and as soon as I was on the dam the Great Northern Diver was showing but after 30 minutes there was no sign of the Great White Egret that had been present for a few days. I walked along the path in between to two lakes and eventually I spotted the Great White Egret flying into the sailing lake.
A Glossy Ibis had been present for a few days so I just had to go and find it and it did not take long. I parked up and walked alongside the horse paddocks and there was the Glossy Ibis asleep in the field. I watched it for a few minutes before the horses got spooked by something and started dashing around and the Glossy Ibis took off high heading roughly south.
I was back a bit early so I decided to hike over to Alrewas GP before heading around Whitemoor Haye and boy was I glad I did. From the arboretum you enter Alrewas GP on the east side which is where I count the birds as I can see 95 percent of the lake from here. I did a count and produced 38 Tufted Duck, 12 Goldeneye, 14 Great Crested Grebe, 9 Mallard and in the distance 2 Smew, both redheads. I then decided to go and look for any Chiffchaffs. With lots of Tristis being found, one of these would be a good find here. I did find three but they were all Collybita. I headed back and had another look over the lake before heading off and that's when I found a female Long-tailed Duck. The Tufted Duck numbers looked swelled, had the Long-tailed Duck flown in with the Tufties as it was not present twenty minutes earlier. As I started counting the ducks a local helicopter started up its engine and spooked the birds. The Long-tailed Duck and about 20 Tufties flew off heading for Croxall GP.
This was my first ever self found Long-tailed Duck, well made up.
Walking back to my car through the arboretum I had a quick scan over nearby Croxall GP but could not relocate the bird. Was it on the river or the nearby pits with no access?
I headed straight for the pool in case the group of birds form Alrewas GP had landed here but no chance, there was loads of shooting and loads of kids screaming on the climbing things and people walking around the quarry pool. Deep joy. Now that the centre was again open after the Xmas break the birds had gone. 63 Mute Swan, 36 Tufties and 25 Coot were on the water. Garbage. Around the lanes I added 1 Little Owl, 25+ Tree Sparrows, 700+ Lapwing and 300+ Golden Plover.
All in all a good weekend was had.