Thursday 7th January
Goodbye to Cath Mendez, through the city of Bristol with light rain falling, I head for Chew Valley Lake. The push over Dr Hill is tough but the downhill cycle after is exhilarating.
An American lesser scaup has been reported at Chew residing in Suttin Wick Bay and I reach there finding fabulous birder and friend Chris Craig in the hide there. Chris has just eturned from the Craig family's latest birding adventure. He talks of Chile, Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and The Falklands. Chris has a World list of nearing 5,000 and his famous birding daughter, Mya.Rose, known as Birdgirl, is not far behind. Mya.Rose has almost the same British list as mine, around 460, has seen 4,300 or thereabouts in the World and is only thirteen! Her blog received the runners up award in the prestigious Birdwatch blog of the year award.
The wind is very strong and blowing across the lake straight at us making the views of the duck sporadic in the waves. Goldeneye are seen with good numbers of tufted duck and pochard. A female goosander flies past.
After a while it is obvious that the lesser scaup isn't here so Chris says that he will drive around to the sheltered west side and search there. If he finds it he will phone me.
A phone call has me cycling around to the Moreton Hide. A green sandpiper is beside a pool created by the recent rain as I approach the hide. As soon as I enter a gentleman with a telescope insists that I see the male lesser scaup and I quickly do so just as it takes off and flies out of view.
A kingfisher calls and lands on a small willow briefly.
18.65 miles 1602 feet elevation up 1237 feet elevation down