Black-necked Grebe results in another East Lancs Twitch

My final day at the old Mullards site in Blackburn finished at 10:30 when we all said our goodbyes and trudged off through the snow to the car park. Though I knew this day was coming for several months, it was a very emotional time as most of us had been there a long long time.
Bernie decided I needed cheering up so we went home, grabbed the optics and headed for the sun-baked promenade of Rishton Reservoir (she's very understanding!). It was as if the local birds had decided to cheer me up too! There were loads of gulls on the far bank; about 1500 Black-headed, 200 Common, 80 Greater Black Back, 50 Lesser Black Back and 1200 Herring. Then I was delighted to see five Shovelers (4 drakes and a female), four Tufties, two Goosander and twelve Teal - a real duck fest for this neck of the woods.
Then I did a double take. There, in the far corner of the reservoir, was a winter-plumaged Black-necked Grebe - Nirvana! The second really good East Lancs bird in two days - I could get used to not working!

Thanks to Bill Aspin for use of this record image

I immediately phoned Billy who put the news out generally and half an hour later turned up with John Metcalf, Tony Cooper and Ernie Ormand. the grebe showed reasonably well though distant. This is the first for the reservoir and completes the set for some of us here.

Other birds on the reservoir included ten cormorants, 197 Canada Geese and one Pink-footed Goose. A kingfisher called and then to Bernie's (and my) delight, flew right past us. A couple of juvenile Mute Swans cruised the bank in the vain hope of some bread but the only things being thrown onto the water were snowballs.


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