Upton Warren, Worcestershire, 9:30
In fact the master plan was to meet up with Kay, Max and Dean, and fingers crossed that the Stilt Sandpiper would still be at Coombe Hill Meadows near Tewkesbury. Alas, two ticks in four days was not to be, as the Stilt Sandpiper disappeared the evening before and not seen all day.
However, we did have the flashes and moors pool at Upton Warren to fall back on. In fact, I haven't been here for fourteen years. Even then I only visited the moors pool, couldn't find the flashes at all.
The flashes is a cracking little spot, that included 7 Green Sandpiper, 31 Curlew, 3 Redshank, 2 Snipe, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Shelduck, 1 Wigeon.
Also a calling Cetti's Warbler in amongst the undergrowth, a Lesser Whitethroat that was much more showy, and a Peregrine perched on one of the nearby masts. While at the moors pool, Kay found out that a Mediterranean Gull was seen here while we were at the flashes. Despite much searching through the Black-Headed Gulls, no sign of it.
Max did find a Kingfisher in a reed-fringed corner of the pool. I did manage to find something splashing out of the water. Unfortunately I think it was just a large fish and not an Otter!
Although it didn't seem like we had seen that much, I actually scribbled down a list of 50 different species! Now that doesn't happen very often at one place in one day.
After finishing at the moors pool we decided that there wasn't much point in heading to Coombe Hill Meadows by now, so decided to visit Upper and Lower Bittell Reservoirs.
While here I was informed of how difficult it is to obtain a permit to gain further access around the two reservoirs. From what I could see, and it is only a personal opinion from one visit, I wouldn't lose too much sleep about it. There wasn't a lot to see and both reservoirs were very full. That's what happens when you get spoilt by Blithfield at this time of year.
Well I'm nearing the end of my time off now. After the bank holiday I'll be back at work. At least I'll save some petrol, because this week I seem to have done as much travelling as Gary Glitter! I've been expecting some comedy website to spring up, where you click on a map of the world and there's Mr Gadd popping up.
I went to four of Gary Glitter's christmas shows at the NEC in the nineties, before his revelations came out obviously! Early on in every show he would say something like "if any of the girls want to come round to my hotel room after the show, feel free". When you think about it now, what he REALLY had in mind when he said girls, it's a chilling thought.
It's weird how your heroes turn out in reality sometimes. Rolf Harris on the other hand really is fantastic, but that's another story.