07/02/2016 Abberton Reservoir, Colchester, Essex

Drake Smew: There are a few things I really do cherish, family, Dawn and birding so mixing all three on my recent trip to Essex was great.
Dawn and I traveled down to see Eddie Izzard, a childhood favourite of mine who was performing at the Palace Theatre London so we thought we would stay at my mums in Essex.
We drove straight to Colchester hoping to get a lot closer to drake Smew than I have before, but was a little disappointed as the birds were still a little way off.
In the end I counted 3 redheads (females) and 2 drake (males).

Grey Phalarope: Although the Smew kept their distance we struck lucky as while we enjoyed a slice of lemon drizzle and a cup of tea we were informed that a grey phal had turned up.
Apparently the day before a Sanderling was reported this was not really chased up and the old regulars were saying it was probably the grey phal.
So once I finished my amazing slice of cake I made my way down to Gwen's Hide where the bird was busily feeding on the edge of the reservoir.
Again the bird was distant but a great year tick and a great record to see for Abberton.