I was talking to a chap at Brooklands car park this morning as I put my boots and coat on. He turned out to be Greenie of Greenie in the Wild fame. Serendipity is the word that springs to mind; the making of fortunate discoveries.
We were both keen to see the Slavonian Grebe so we set off together to Brooklands lake to see if it was in a photogenic mood. Before we'd gone a couple of 100 yards we bumped inte Alan Woodcock who had already located it along the northern edge of the lake. The low morning sun would make photo's difficult here but as it happened the Grebe paddled back, at an astonishing speed, to it's preferred end of the lake and after watching it catch and eat a couple of good size fish Greenie managed to get a couple of decent shots which i've no doubt will be on display on his blog.
I knew that the tide would be low on the river and was keen to have a look for some waders, so our next stop was the small wood which is probably the best spot to find some when the tide is out and was only a short distance from the lake.
On the exposed island in the river we soon spotted some Lapwings, lately i've only seen the odd singleton here but today there were about thirteen in all as well as at least nine Little Grebes mostly in the lagoon of slacker water in the lee of the island. These little birds seem to be doing very well here with good numbers along the river and also quite a few more on the lakes.
On the opposite bank we spotted a couple of Common Snipe on the mud near the water's edge and a little later a third was also found there. These three subsequently flew into the reedbed and were joined by two more flying in soon after. Five Common Snipe in a short time, that's a good number in my book.
A Redshank was poking around in the mud further down river and two more flew in from upstream to join it and a Kingfisher flew across and along the adjacent creek, the second one of the morning so far, the first one being heard and briefly seen in the corner of Brooklands. Other species to mention were Cormorants, Teal, a couple of Grey Herons, some Black Headed Gulls and a couple of Gt BlackBacked Gull.
From here Greenie and I went our separate ways, he to relocate the Salvonian Grebe and then round to Alders lake to see if the female Goldeneye was still around, while I made my way along the river and Abbey Mead lake. I didn't see a great deal more apart from some more Little Grebes on the lake as well as at least 16 Gt Crested Grebes. A single Goldcrest was calling from the lake side and from seemingly everywhere came the pleasing calls of Long tailed Tits as pictured below.
It was good to meet you Greenie and I look forward to the next occasion.