Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Pied-billed Grebe - Hollingworth Lake, Gtr Manchester - 10th November 2010

Adult Pied-billed Grebe - Hollingworth Lake, Gtr Manchester!

A train twitch was on order when news broke of a Pied-billed Grebe that was present, and had been present for several days at Hollingworth Lake, near Rochdale, Greater Manchester.
This was absolutely shocking news, as this was a first for Greater Manchester, and the first for British mainland since 6th May 2002, I was certainly keen to see it.

Upon arrival, I saw the bird in the middle of the lake and was shocked by the size of the bird. I was expecting Little Grebe, but infact it was somewhere between Slavonian Grebe and Red Necked Grebe. It was actively feeding, catch several fish, and kept going out of site into one of the inlets near the nature reserve.

When Chris Bridge had finally arrived, we made our way around to the other side where we could view the 'pool' near the hide. Here the bird was showing well in the sun, and when it began to swim towards the mouth of the inlet, we descended towards the hide where it would pass at really close range. Sadly it did not come all the way out, but we got within 40feet of the bird as it dived actively and I am really really happy with the result I got with the d-SLR, as I was expecting nothing at all, except a couple of pixels in the middle of a grey lake!

I'm really glad I saw this bird, as the photos posted last night did no justice to the bird whatsoever. It's a cracking bird, still showing remnants of a band round the bill, and I have come away still amazed at the size of the bird!

Overall, it was an excellent twitch, and it was nice to see some familiar faces that reminded of birding in Lancashire! Who'd have thought I would get Pied-billed Grebe on my life list before I was 20...not me! I hope it stays and decides to make a few stops off at various waters in the area...I think i'll twitch it again if it turns up in Lancashire!

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