Saturday 29th November, Attenborough Nature Reserve, 10:00 - 12:15 (aagh!)
I should've got over earlier really, but the weather forecast (pah!) predicted thick fog possibly lasting all day. Well, it wasn't that bad at home, and only a mist at Attenborough.
I must've missed the Penduline Tit by about 45 minutes (bloomin weather forecast!), when it took off from the reedmace in Tween Pond towards Long Eaton. Absolutely no sign during my stay there. A pair of Egyptian Geese helped to pass the time.
I decided to head back to the car for a bite to eat. At that point I received a text along the lines of "Kindly vacate yourself from Attenborough, and move your posterior to Barton-under-Needwood for a Cattle Egret!". I then did an Egyptian Goose impression! Time to get over then. When zooming along the A50 another text appeared saying the Penduline Tit was back, five minutes after I left!
Still, I suppose I could've been at Attenborough at that point and still not seen it by being in the wrong place. I still decided to head to Barton, fully knowing that the day could go all horribly wrong.
Barton-under-Needwood, 13:40 - 15:00
It got worse when it seemed that no-one knew where to look south of the village. I even spoke to Mr Steve Nuttall, migrated from Belvide for the day, who was just as puzzled as I. Thankfully the Cattle Egret was eventually located, in a field with an Oss in (for viewers in the south of England I mean a Horse!), along Captain's Lane in Barton Green.
A cornucopia of Staffs birders duly arrived, including the Blurred Birder. It's about time a Cattle Egret was found in Staffordshire bearing in mind the sheer number of them in the country over the last year.
The Egret was eventually flushed by a pair of hikers, who then decided to stroke the horse! I'm not sure if sugar lumps were handed out, to the horse that is. It appeared that the Egret didn't fly too far away.
Realising there was a bit of daylight left I got over to Attenborough again. But the Penduline Tit hadn't been seen since 12:30. But I gave it half an hour until nearly dark, no sign. Hopefully the Penduline Tit may stick around for a while. There's definitely a good sized patch of reedmace at Tween Pond. And a good area of reeds on nearby Clifton Pool, where the Sora Rail was four years ago.