Spent a few hours at my old patch Grafham Water, with my old mate, Mark Hawkes on Friday morning. The previous afternoon, I dropped in and picked up three Arctic Terns over the reservoir off Mander CP. 25 Bar-tailed Godwits over the A1 at Tempsford (Bedfordshire) was a good start and nearly made me crash the car, which would have been a bit embarassing.
My hand eye co-ordination continued to be slightly awry as I dropped my phone when I got to the dam and smashed the screen. I have only had it a month - doh! I met up with Mark and we started to bird the res. Soon, I picked up 8 more Barwits overhead, followed by a further three on the deck in the lagoons, including two stonking males.
Barwit. Thanks to Mark Hawkes for the photo.
Also present here were two fine Greenshanks, two singing Cetti's Warblers and 9 Avocets. Did Grafham used to be this good?! No sign of any Ring Ouzels in the usual spot, but we did pick up our first Swifts of the year, with several over Marlow. I left Mark to his patch and headed back south, feeling slightly melancholy.
The last day of the hols. It has been cracking. A fair bit of birding fitted in around meeting lots of old and new friends, good times. Nipped up to Heslington to twitch a Wood Warbler found by John Lawton, but there was no sign in the brief period Solomon and me were there. Had a chat with Tim, and he sent me a text to say it had showed again later. Doh! Started my new 10km training regime tonight and added Swift to my York yearlist, with several over the river by Naburn bridge. Unbelievably, Willow gave up running after 10 minutes - slacker!