Well the plan was to try for a few lifers as we hadn't been out for a few weeks and with the Willow Tit in Preston, Hawfinch up at Sizergh Castle, the possibility of the Slavonian Grebe still being at Pine Lake and a grid reference for 2 Short Eared Owls things looked good.
First stop was Cottam Brickworks, Preston to try and find the Willow Tit. We'd been told there is a feeder on the other side of a pond where it had been seen and some directions on how to find it. After an hour of trudging around the area and only a Jay, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Blue and Great Tits making any sort of appearance we decided it was time to give up and move on. As we headed back to the car we bumped into 2 separate birders and one had heard it the weekend before and was willing to let us tag along to the area. Another hour was then spent searching for the pond with the feeder but again to no avail. The bigger disappointment was that whilst wandering around we flushed a Woodcock but was seen by neither of us so nothing to add to the life list. We did manage 2 Snipe and as we left for a second time a small flock of House Sparrows. We've had a little more information via the Preston Society forum so hopefully this time next week we may have seen it.
Next stop was Pine Lake and hopefully see the Slavonian Grebe for Reeces list. I haven't seen it reported on rare bird alert but was hoping it was still there. Again we were disappointed but we did see Goldeneye, Goosander, Coot, Pochard, Tuffted Duck, Cormorant, Greater Black Backed, Herring and Black Headed Gull.