Heading round to Willow Hide , I found the whole lake frozen over with the exception of one small area of open water , being kept open by a single Great Crested Grebe . Returning to the main lake , I bumped into the chap I saw earlier , and he told me that he had been trying to photograph a Red-necked Grebe that he had seen yesterday . Why did I make that first decision ? Anyway it had just disappeared behind the island , so started a game of cat and mouse between myself and the bird , that made getting a shot of the Slavonian Grebe at New Hythe like a walk in the park . I got brief glimpses of the bird every now and again , but the two things against me were the light and the distance it could travel under water . I gave up trying to walk quietly , concentrating on trying to get in front of it whilst it was under . Eventually I managed to get a few , what I would call record shots , but I was pleased , as with the Slavonian Grebe , I have seen the species before , but always out of camera range . Fortunately , a couple of the shots were in a bit better light and showed the red on the neck and the yellow on the bill . The chap also mentioned that he had seen Black-necked Grebe the day before , but hadn't seen it today . Eventually the Grebe took itself well out into the lake and started to preen itself , just as a bank of cloud rolled in , by which time my feet were like blocks of ice , so I headed back to the car , getting a shot of an overflying Grey Heron on the way , and having two flocks of Fieldfare fly over . Near Knockholt Station , the road is lined with heavily ladened Hawthorns , and I spotted a few Thrush sized birds as I passed . Turning around and parking opposite , I could see that they were a small flock of Redwings , but still the most I have seen together this Winter . I know it's not sharp , but I couldn't resist posting this shot showing exactly how the species gets it's name .
And finally . Whilst looking through shots taken today to see which to use on this post , I came across a few that made me stop and stare . I can't even remember taking them , and can only assume that I thought I was taking long distance shots of the Red-necked Grebe , but guess what they turned out to be ? I think . Could it be that I got some shots of the Black-necked Grebe , without realising it ?As always , I stand to be corrected . If it is , that's another species seen before but not photographed .
And positively finally , had to include this single Lapwing in the fields behind the main lake .
Have just heard that Thursday's work on the Common has been cancelled , so I will be climbing the walls by Saturday .