While in 6th form (History to be precise) i recieved news of a Black Necked Grebe at Fens Pool!
Being a Wednesday, i was free for the remainder of the day, so the second the lesson ended i was up and out of my seat, and belting it back home for my scope and bins.
A quick snack, and onwards again, and the painful journey on public transport was soothed by the thought that (as BNG is a nocturnal migrant) there was a high chance the bird would still be there, the only hard part would be finding it, as the message wasnt specific to which of the 3 pools it was on.
It was only a couple of minuites walk from the bus stop at the hospital down to the lake, and with it being a beautiful sunny day, it felt nice to be out.
I scanned the entirity of the far edges of the lake, across the centre of the water, and along the vegitated edges of the lake. I was bemused as to where the bird was, and it was only when i took my bins from my eyes that i noticed a black and white 'shape' in the amphibious plants about 30ft away.
It was the BLACK-NECKED GREBE!
Over the next two hours, i was able to sit on the waters edge a distance away from the bird in amongst the canadian goose crap. But it was totally worth it, was able to enjoy the bird on my own (no other birders, and non of the public approached me), as the bird became more and more confiding, luckilly, the sun was shining from behind (ish) me, and it illuminated the birds incredibly red eyes like jewles! Look at them!
The bird was fairly 'loyal' to a small patch of aquatic plants close to the shore, and spent much of its time snoozing, but a couple of times it swam out and had abit of a fish and a preen, showing off its white rear edge to its wings.
The bird, despite showing slightly brown tinges to its hindneck, and cheeks was a winter plumaged adult, and was infact the first i have seen in this plumage. I have now seen both Black and white small grebes (BNG and Slav) in winter plumage, and both at incredibly close range!
The bird continued to preform untill 5pm, when i left, and it was still showing incredibally well then!
What a bird for an urban location, so thats two sets of decent birds ive seen here in less than a year, 2 1st winter drake Red Brested Mergansers, and now the Grebe. Its always suprising what turns up at urban locations!