Following on from my rather depressing last post, things started to pick up over the Bank Holiday weekend. A LITTLE BITTERN turned up in Greater Manchester, a BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER in North Yorkshire and an adult LONG-TAILED SKUA inland in South Yorkshire.
I was allowed out mid morning on Bank Holiday Monday, and I devised a plan to see all three, starting off in South Yorkshire. As I was nearing Hatfield Moors, news came through of a BLACK STORK circling around, and I realised I was over the area I was heading for. I decided the skua wasn't going anywhere, so I headed off for the BLACK STORK. Three times I received news as to where it was circling over, but each time, by the time I arrived on site it had drifted off. It was last seen flying north up the river Trent, and that was where I called it day. It was fun to chase it though.
I headed back to Hatfield Moors, and had received a few directions where to head for. On the way into the car park, I stopped a car and asked him which path to take. I parked up and followed his directions. I walked round Hatfield Moors for nearly one and a half hours before I reached the skua. At one stage, I could see the birders watching the skua, but I still couldn't find the path. Eventually, I saw the full summer plumaged adult Long-tailed Skua. It flew a few times, but basically it just sat there, looking quite moribundish. It was good to know that it did eventually fly off.
The most irritating thing about Hatfield Moor and the total lack of signage, was that it only took me 30 mins to walk back. Unfortunately, due to my BLACK STORK chase and my tour of the entire Hatfield Moor, I'd run out of time and headed home, completely knackered!
During the week, I finished work early and popped up to Frodsham, where there was a LESSER SCAUP and a summer plumaged RED-NECKED GREBE. Both birds were showing well, and it was an easy, quick trip. At last, there were a few birds around to see. Roll on the weekend, and the last Saturday in May.......
the Frodsham Lesser Scaup (the Tittesworth bird?)
and the fine s/pl Red-necked Grebe