Thursday, 9 January 2014
Great Northern Diver at Maxey
Things have been a bit hectic in the Saunders household over the past month. My wife went into hospital a couple of weeks before Christmas for a hip operation and so consequently she has been my main priority (she always is, but you know what I mean!) and birds etc were put on the back burner. I have been helping her with her job by walking dogs, house-sitting and doing my own job at the same time, so obviously haven't had much time for anything else. That was until the New Year.
A Glossy Ibis was reported on New Year's Eve at Deeping Lakes, but I couldn't add it to my 2013 list as I was erstwhile engaged. The bird, however was still present on the 1st, so was a good way to start 2014. Saturday 4th January arrived, wet and horrible, but with it a phone call from Mike Weedon to say that he had found a Great Northern Diver at the same Deeping Lakes, a Peterborough Bird Club lifer for me and the first in the area for 10 years. A quick dash to the area without binoculars or scope and I was getting my first glimpse of this bird through another birders optics, number 211 for the PBC area. A little later and I was walking a couple of dogs and I received another phone call from Mike to say that another Great Northern Diver had been seen at Maxey fishing pits, but I had to wait to see this bird. The following day, I managed to see it, this time with my own optics and managed to get the above shot. This bird is still present, enabling a lot of local birders to 'enjoy' a local rarity and I have even got my digiscoping gear out again for when the bird is a bit too distant for my 300mm lens, which has lead to getting the shot below.
Everything is settling down a bit now, the patient is making a good recovery and my 2014 local list is off to a flyer, three local rarities (the Ibis, Diver and the Great Grey Shrike is still at Holme) kicking off another attempt at breaking that elusive 180 mark.