18th November 2010 – Tindale Tarn Treat

My day off today, and a toss-up between two rare grebes – one a 5 hour round trip (Pied-billed near Rochdale), and the other a pleasant morning walk within 20 miles of home. No competition really, I stayed local again! I am actually quite keen to see another Pied-billed Grebe, as it’s been a long time since my last one, following birds I saw in 1997/1998 & 1999. But the weather forecast put me off, as did the 5 hours in the car, plus the fact that I’ve just done a week of midnight finishes so I fancied a bit of a lie in! Tindale Tarn near Hallbankgate is a very picturesque spot, but I hadn’t counted on it being quite so windy, I could barely stand up at times – and it was absolutely freezing cold. So was it worth it? Well yes, Slavonian Grebe was the target bird,  a proper rarity for ‘north’ Cumbria birders, and despite the choppy conditions and my streaming eyes it gave reasonable scope views. However, keeping the tripod steady in the gales was impossible and it was always in the middle of the tarn making photography too difficult. This was only my 2nd Slav in the county, and over 7 years since my last one – they really are that scarce. A Dipper was also nice to see here.

Shockingly bad photo of a Slav Grebe

Equally as bad...

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