A call from Mr Wizzal (cheers Phil) alerted me to the possible presence of a redhead Smew and a Slavonian Grebe at Cheshires finest mere Rostherne (well it used tobe). Both were claimed yesterday and reported on the Mancunian Bird Spotting website...thanks for telling the rest of us chaps.
With no chance now of reaching the 200 milestone (yet again) for a Cheshire year list I still thought why not give it ago anyway as theres bugger'all on the local patch. Mr Wizzal to his credit was already there when I arrived and had sussed out the location of the Smew but no sign of the Slav. Still it took a good 15 minutes before the bird swam out of the reeds on the far side and showed well before disappearing again...whap! A jaunt into the field (don't tell the warden) by the stream that feeds Rostherne gave good views of a female Goosander as it dived in the far east bay but no Slavonian Grebe alas.
Thats only the 6th Smew I've ever seen in Cheshire and even some of those could be returning birds. Checking my old records I forgot that I've actually seen one within spitting distance of Moss Side/Moore Nature Reserve. On 3rd January 1996 there was a redhead Smew on Moore Sand Quarry a definate first for the old patch (elastic boundary theory coming into play). On the same day I wrote in my note book ...big flock of 28 Grey Partridge on the fields (Moss Side)...TWENTY EIGHT!!! amazing, where have they all gone too ? must be global warming ?
CHESHIRE YL 186
UK YL 257