Sunday, 22 April 2012

Staines Reservoir (22nd April)

Thanks to my mum, I was given a lift down to Staines Reservoir, where I hoped to catch up with a few of the specialties from the past few days, including Little Gull, Whimbrel, Arctic Terns and White Wagtail and perhaps an early Swift.

  • cloud 0-1/3 shade 0-1/3
  • wind 1-2/3
  • temp. 2/3

The turnout was rather different as to what I had imagined.  One of the first birds I encountered was a fledgling Pied Wagtail on the north western edge of the south basin (my first fledgling of the year). Although 1 Little Gull had been seen in the morning I unfortunately arrived to late to connect with the bird.  However, many of the commoner birds were present, including 2 Redshank, plenty of Common Terns, and a few scatterings of wildfowl, including Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Teal and Shoveler.  Later on 3 Mallard chicks also swam past (my second fledglings of the year, spring and summer seem to arrive earlier here than in west Hertfordshire).  The legendary Bob Warden (a daily visitor to the Res's and a privilege to meet and talk to) pointed out a near summer plumage MEDITERRANEAN GULL on the south basin.  The other birder whom I was with also pointed out what initially appeared to be 2 Ringed Plovers, however, through the heat haze it was very difficult to tell.  Wisely we decided to approached a little closer along the causeway only to discover they were infact 2 LITTLE RINGED PLOVERS (a year tick).  Other birds of note included a very small passage of 4+ Swallows.  Bob once again proved his skill by pointing out a very distant probable SANDWICH TERN flying south across King George VI Reservoir, unfortunately, like many birds at these reservoirs it was too distant to confirm but its jizz seemed to suite Sandwich.  I also tried my luck and was very pleased to point out some new arrivals from the south west in the form of 3 WHIMBREL, which flew straight to the west bank of the north basin where they remained for about 20 minutes feeding along the grass edge and on the concrete sides before leaving.

 a very distant record shot of the 3 Whimbrel

I also found 2 GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS (both 3rd summers) which also flew in from a similar direction as the Whimbrel but departed very soon.  Some other birds of note included 1 Sparrowhawk and 1 Kestrel followed by 2 Reed Buntings on the metal fence.  Another highlight for the day was a stunning WHITE WAGTAIL (a year tick) and indeed a very welcome sight as I haven't seen one for a very long time.  On my return, the last thing I saw was a Peacock Butterfly sunning in the middle of the causeway.

Peacock butterfly, fortunately no-body accidentally stood on it (so far)

No comments:

Post a Comment