I took my daughters back home to Somerset last Friday so they could catch up with my family and I could see some birds ;-)
We stopped off to twitch the Lesser Yellowlegs at Port Meadow on route. After my only previous visit, to twitch the Pectoral Sandpipers, the site looked amazing, with the flood showing over a massive area. Even in a howling wind it didn't take long to track down the Yellowlegs near the main footpath next to 1 Ruff. Brilliant views and the legs showed really bright through the scope. With the wind blowing the life out of the girls we headed off sharply. Only my second Yellowlegs after the Berry Fen one a few years back with Rob N.
We then headed down to Weston and twice dipped Purple Sandpipers on the rocks near Birnbeck Pier, either we were a fraction too early for one of the high tides or they just weren't in yet? Hopefully get another chance at Christmas to add this species to my year list.
I quick walk around Knightstone Island produced over 40+ Oystercatchers, 15+ Shelduck and 1 Curlew amongst the Gulls on the mud around the island.
On Sunday I made a quick stop off at Cheddar Reservoir. I have to admit I was shocked how low this was, large stretches of exposed mud/ground/bottom. Massive numbers of Coot and ducks. After about 5 scans and checking every Great Crested Grebe, I couldn't locate the long staying 1st winter Red-necked Grebe. Then a young lad with birding gear came and asked if I'd seen it, I advised not, then as soon as he walked off out of ear shot, I found the grebe in the middle of the reservoir drifting away towards the Coot flock. With the girls not coming back a Halloween party in Wookey Hole I continue scan the lake and re found the 2 Whopper Swans but no sign of another year tick I was after - the Red-breasted Merganser and actually a Somerset tick. No joy. Then received a Bird Guides text later that evening and is was still being reported!
A good trip and nice to catch up with the family.