Was that summer?

It was far too hot to do anything much at all last weekend - well after 11 or so. I just find it so hard to sleep when it is warm at night so getting up at a reasonable time, I headed for the local sites but absolutely nothing new apart from a lot more House Martins and Swifts. The Temminck's Stint at Stocks was a one evening affair which I couldn't attend unfortunately so I settled down to make plans for this weeks work in the Midlands.

On Monday, I just had to pop into Seaforth to catch up with the Wilson's Phalarope that had obligingly hung around for me to see it.
Though not near enough for crippling images like some I've seen, this bird was an absolute stunner and possibly the same bird that was here in 2008 and Martin Mere in 2009. Whilst I was there a first year Spoonbill flew north after considering whether to drop down on to the pools for a few seconds. I could have easily stayed longer scanning through the terns and gulls but I had an appointment to make so I headed south.

Yesterday, after a full morning's survey work, I took an afternoon break to Derbyshire to try for the Great Reed Warbler at Ilkeston. It didn't disappoint though it was hidden for long periods. You could hear it from some distance as it belted its song out. Occasionally he hopped up the reeds for a view but the weather had turned a lot cooler and he wouldn't stay there long.
Next was Willington Gravel Pits on the way back, a lovely Wildlife Trust reserve between Derby and Burton where a drake Garganey showed distantly on the main pool. There were plenty of birds around - Great Crested Grebes have no problem here with the water levels with several nests right out on view. A couple of Cuckoos called and a Lesser Whitethroat was rattling away next to where the car was parked.

Anyway, back home today as the weather turned very cool once again and several nice birds over the last few days enlivened the survey - Tree Pipit, Pied and Spotted Flycatchers, Redstarts and loads of warblers. A quick trip to Rishton Reservoir was called for with the passing showers but I was brought back down to earth with a bump - Fishermen and a horde of kids on the far bank and dinghies on the water = nowt! I'm hoping the LRP is sitting tight somewhere over there as they did last year. A pair of Lesser Redpolls on the niger seed in the garden cheered me up though!


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