Pied-billed Grebe. Mike Watson.
We have yet another American vagrant in the country, a Pied-billed Grebe which was found on Tuesday 9 November on Hollingworth Lake in Greater Manchester and is still present today to the delight of the many who have traveled to see this amazing little bird. Thanks to Mike for the photograph which can be seen HERE along with other interesting accounts and photographs of birding in the UK and beyond.
The first record of a Pied-billed Grebe (PBG) in Britain was only made 47 years ago in December 1963 at Blagdon Lake in Somerset. The PBG breeds over much of Central, North and South America, the last time I checked there had been 40 records in Britain at scattered localities in all months. It is difficult to imagine the ability of this apparently weak-flying bird being able to cross the Atlantic Ocean to find itself at these various locations in this country. Once here, some males have stayed for long periods, even setting up territory and advertising for mates with one particular individual being observed attacking a Whooper Swan which had straying into what the grebe had claimed as it's territory, but the behaviour of this bird was put into the shadows of another one which paired with a Little Grebe producing three hybrid young, remarkable in that the two species are not in the same genus. No mercy is on offer in the natural world when one unfortunate individual PBG was killed by a Peregrine Falcon on the day it arrived in Britain on the Isles of Scilly in October 2000.
Wren. Phillip Tomkinson.
I couldn't resist this excellent image of the Wren photographed in the grips of winter, when you view a picture like this one you have to hope this winter won't be as harsh as the last one for the sake of these tiny creatures. Thanks for the photograph Phillip, please take a look at some stunning images on Phillip's website HERE