Monday 2nd January 2011
The plan was to focus a days birding around Staffs and try and see a number of good local species in the same area. First stop was Gailey reservoir to see the Black Redstart which showed really well on the shoreline near the Sailing clubhouse. Unfortunatey I missed the Med. Gull by about 10 minutes but saw the first Nuthatch and Grey wagtail of the year. I teamed up with Gailey regular Steve Richards to drive the few miles up the M6 to Doxey marshes at Stafford. The aim being to see a wintering Water pipit. The pipit proved extremely elusive, Steve heard the bird call a couple of times but the bird didnt show for nearly 2 hours. Eventually it left the reeds and perched up in a bush for a few seconds. Steve managed to confirm the ID through his scope but I couldn't get on the bird before it flew back to the reedy margins in front of us. At least we now knew where the bird was. After another wait the bird gave itself up and showed well for a short time. Other 'marsh' species were a Kingfisher and a pair of Stonechat. I had planned to move on to the Great grey Shrike at Upper Longdon but with the wind getting stronger and the temperature dropping decide to head back. I'd enjoyed my day in Staffs. must go back again one day !