Whilst at work, me mate Ian Corbett from York rung me that a Pied-Billed Grebe had been found at Hollingsworth Lake, Greater Manchester. Fantastic, the grebe I was missing from the set. I finished work, got home and saw the images on Birdguides that the bird could be photographed reasonably close.
Next morning I drove to the Country Park, and the leaving birders all said the bird was showing.
I quickly walked the perimeter of the Lake, to where 50 odd birders were viewing the grebe which was showing across the small mere.
I had a walk down to the very small hide and entered, and to my amazement was virtually empty. Ivan Ellison was sat on the right hand side, and showed me some of his images on the back of his camera.
He explained that the bird would swim through the narrow channel, that joined the main lake (that the grebe was now favouring) back to the small mere.
I got into position as the bird was now right at the mouth of the channel, about to swim back into the small mere.
As it entered the channel, I got ready and the bird dived. It rose way off to the right having been underwater right past where i was sat. Typical! It then swam further off to right and seemed to roost for a while before wandering around the mere.
It then looked like it was about to swim left back through the channel, but turned back from where it had come from. Aaarrgghh!
I waited patiently and then all of a sudden it popped up right in front of the hide (which by now was heaving with twitchers).
I rattled numerous frames off as it was so close. There was no more room in the hide, and I felt I'd got what I'd gone for, so made my exit.
My good mate Mike Malpass was in the crowd getting images and all in all, I was glad I'd got down there early.