In the dying hour of a glorious late September day I rushed to Napton Reservoir to see if I could finally set eyes on the long-staying black-necked grebe.
The good news is that I did, the finding made considerably easier for the fact that it was a) less than 10 yards from the shore, and b) enjoying the admiring attention of three birders from Nuneaton.
The grebe was beautiful despite its winter plumage, the red eyes being its most striking feature. Sadly a quick stroll around the water turned up nothing else remarkable, the best being half a dozen pochard, a few skylarks and yellowhammers here and there, and even a little flock of linnets which I don't see nearly often enough.
Napton Hill was all but silent, so I returned home to attend to the blog... only to discover that the black-necked grebe was my first lifer in more than than a year, something I had completely failed to realise. And what is more, it was one which I predicted back in 2006 might turn up at Napton - see here for My Secret Patch Wishlist.
Don't you just love it when a plan comes together, albeit somewhat belatedly and unintentionally!