Burton Marsh RSPB.
How very little I knew what a quality weekend this was going to be. I arrived at the above site at 08.00. A long staying Buff-bellied Pipit had been present for quite sometime now. I really should have come for this at Xmas but never got round to it and I was getting a bit nervous that it would not be around much longer. I arrived on site and checking the tide wrack it was alive, with Meadow Pipits. How the hell were we going to find BBP within this lot. To add tot he misery there were millions of lumps of veg and logs where birds were hiding. There were three of us looking and a photographer and I noticed he was firing off loads of shots on something. I walked around and the BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT was right in front of him, cheers mate. It stayed around for a few minutes before being spooked. Stunning. Now, were did it go??? For the next hour it played hide and seek with the growing numbers. Not brilliant but it gave everyone a chance to relocate the bird by using your knowledge of the birds markings, especially against the high numbers of Mipits. I relocated the bird several times and it could be found anywhere on the roughly 100 metres stretch of wrack. A brilliant bird and well worth the trip alone and as a bonus I nailed a couple of Stonechats and Little Egrets for the year list. Sundays forecast was rubbish so I wanted to make the most of the good weather today (little was I know what the weather had in stall for most of the country a bit later on). I decided to head to nearby Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB, formally the brilliant Inner Marsh Farm. A bit of a rant now. Just like football, why the hell do people change names of things? It does my chuffin head in. Once Pride Park, always Pride Park. Once Inner Marsh Farm always should be Inner Marsh farm.
Burton Mere Washlands RSPB.
I located the new visitor centre and then set out for a quick walk around the site. Not a bad little visit and I managed a few year ticks in the shape of Black-tailed Godwit, Shoveler and Dunlin as well as getting Bullfinch, Redshank, Curlew, Raven, Jay and hearing Water Rail.
Whilst walking around here news broke of a Humes Warbler at Coleshill in Warwickshire. Bloomin ell, what do I do. I decided to stick with the plan and hope it would linger.
From the visitor centre a boating lake can be seen, this is Shotwick and next to the lake were loads od Whooper Swans. Bewicks had also been seen here but they were too far to pick them out and a drive around Shotwick saw me not locate anywhere to scan the flock. I had a plan for later.
A couple of Surf Scoters had been reported off Pensarn beach so I had to go and see if they could make it in my little black book. I arrived along with a fellow birder from near Cheadle and we also met up with a few more birders from Stoke who had seen the scoters. We started to look through the Common Scoters that were present on the sea but couldn't locate them but there must have been several thousand Common Scoter. Brilliant. The next hour was spent at different sites looking for the Surf Scoters but they could not be relocated.
It was during this time the weather had turned biblical with horrendous hail and winds with mad showers of intense rain.
The rest of the day was taken up with a visit to Flint in the hope of some Twite, they didn't materialise but a Common Gull was great fun to watch, before driving home and getting to Whitemoor Haye for the last 30 minutes of light. This was a waste of time as I have never, in my many visits to the quarry pool, drew a blank however today there was nothing. When news of the gull roost at Chasewater came through in the evening I was gutted I didn't think about going there. Bugger