Saturday 19th October.
We had originally had the thought that this weekend we would head to the east coast again, but after a heavy week we put our feet up… now I made a major mistake when I changed my trousers to go and work outside, I dropped my phone on the floor and did not notice. I nearly paid dearly for this as it was only when I popped in to pick up my radio to listen to DCFC that I realised and checked my messages. Shock horror, I had one from Dan about a Grey Phalarope at Carsington. Now this species has been a bit of a problem for years, I have contrived to be away for all the records at Carsington (indeed for Derbyshire!). Last year (I think we were willing one to stay long enough but it left the day we got back to Derbyshire!). A mad few minutes later and we were out of the house and on the way. Dave rang just before we arrived to tell me it was out in front of Lane Ends but as we walked out from Sheepwash car park, we ran into a jubilant Roger C and Clive A who were heading back and informed us it had flown off towards Sheepwash… we walked back stopping to scan the visible water to no avail, but we did pick up a single Whooper Swan. Near the car park we ran into Richard L who hadn’t seen it yet and we decided to head to Sheepwash with Paul going down to the Hopton End to check there (he saw one at Carsi years ago!). As luck would have it we had just set up and started to scan when I dropped on the bird feeding half way between Sheepwash and Lane Ends amongst some Coot. It was always fairly distant but showed all the time as it picked stuff from the surface and spun in typical Phalarope. After a while it drifted and flew further out into the middle of the reservoir.
Whilst all this had been happening we had had confirmation that there was a Green-winged Teal at the Wildlife Centre. Richard headed off round there but we decided to stay and head up to Lane Ends to see more of the Phal but we only had very distant brief glimpses. However doing this we ran out of time for the GwT as when we got to the WLCentre all the Teal were flighting out as dusk came on. There was though a fabulous rainbow in view!
Sunday 20th October.
Sunday dawned and I had originally planned to go back up to Carsington to get the Green-winged Teal but on the pager came the message that there was a Hoopoe just over the border in Notts at Annesley Pit Top. So off we went! After a short walk we soon had views of the bird in flight and on the ground but sadly it was approached too close and flew (looking like a huge moth) down onto the shoreline of one of the pits, here it was distant but we were able to watch it feeding along the edges of the longer vegetation.
Judging by the strong brown tones to the “black” areas and the rather pale overall colour I assume its a juv?
The down side to this trip was the quick release head on my tripod broke…. so I had to hand hold everything.
After leaving here a brief stop at home to do an emergency repair to my tripod I had a trip up to Carsington. On arriving in the WLCentre in heavy rain I had just enough time to see the drake GwTeal on Horseshoe island before all the birds flushed for some unknown reason! However once the rain stopped I had a walk round to Stones and got reasonable views of the Teal on the end of Watersports (Sheep) Island. Also on Stones were 2 Dunlin.
Green-winged Teal on Horseshoe Island… sadly I took this through the double glazing.. its impossible to get anything sharp then!