Today we went twitching with Weedon's World of Nature, alias Mike Weedon, Peterborough's most avid year- and area-lister.
The reason was that he was car-less and there were good birds to be seen in the north of our local area. Because I'm kind, I offered him a lift.
Our first stop was Deeping Lakes Nature Reserve, where, that morning, there'd been a Little Stint and a Sandwich Tern. Little Stints are annual in this part of the country, as are Sandwich Terns, but the terns are far less reliable. This point was proved yet again as the bird had scarpered by the time we arrived at the scene...
For a while, it looked like we were going to have a double-whammy of dipping (i.e. failing to see target bird), but the day was saved when a tiny wader flew into view and landed on an island in front of us. It was very small indeed, and not particularly close, but undoubtedly an interestingly-plumaged Little Stint (click here to see Mike's photo).
A wander around to The Lake and its hide brought us a few Goldeneye and Darren picked out a redhead Smew. Nice work...
A visit to Baston & Langtoft gravel pits was next, as there'd been a few migrants hanging around there that morning, too. Typically, there was nowt to be seen - except one of the 'famous' Red-crested Pochards which breed there (deemed self-sustaining). And that was a year tick for us all.
After a quick stop at Maxey, where we saw very little, with the exception of the Yellowhammer pictured above, and a Green Sandpiper, we gave up - partly because it was starting to rain, and partly because it didn't seem worth carrying on. That's local, inland birding for you, sometimes...
Species added today:
119. Red-crested Pochard