Only two of us today for the trip to Rochdale. PJ was jetting off to Fuerteventura and CJW was working all weekend. The reason for visiting Rochdale - well nearby Hollingworth Lake was for the PIED-BILLED GREBE that had been present all week. The last twitchable one was back in 1999 but my only previous one was way back in 1987 at Kenfig, nearly 24 years ago when I was a sweet 17 year old with a full head of hair. We visited Westport first and then headed up the M6 and M62, arriving at Hollingworth Lake at 09-40hrs. The Pied-billed Grebe was showing extremely well at first directly below the path, but it then moved further back to rest and preen. The second time it came close I was ready with my camera and managed to take a couple of acceptable shots. This Autumn is getting better as the weeks go by.
After spending a pleasant hour or so with the Pied-billed Grebe we headed back south to our next stop. A Great Northern Diver was at Astbury Mere. Now in the past, stuff has moved between Westport and Astbury, most notably my RING-NECKED DUCK from 2009 that spent a day at Astbury before returning to Westport when spooked by a large firework display. I decided it was best to check out the Great Northern Diver and see if there was anyway I could encourage it to fly the short distance south. Unfortunately, it was right at the back of the pool but I'm sure it will be at Westport in the next few days.
Our last stop of the day was in Leek for the 18 WAXWINGS that had been present for quite a while. I couldn't see much point in going for them before as it will only be a matter of time before they arrive in all the usual places in the city. Well these showed quite well for us and finished not a bad day at all.