Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Staines Reservoirs and London Wetlands Centre 16/3/08

The Sunday just gone I went to Staines reservoirs and then the London Wetlands Centre, although later than planned.
I arrived at Staines around noon and left at around one twenty, on arrival I collected my stuff and keenly made my way up there. I was expecting pretty much guaranteed Scaup and Black-necked Grebes, but I was wrong. Once I got up there I made my way up towards another birder and asked if he'd got onto anything, he pointed out the Black-necked Grebes, they were so close! and what's more lots of them (there were 10 in total) were in breeding plumage, with two or three in winter plumage and one in transitional. I got spectacular views of these birds diving right in front of me. There were a few Sand Martins whizzing around over the water, excellent!
I soon made my way further down to see the Scaups, which I though may be hiding inside the right hand bay because of the wind. Were they should have been was so far off and the wind was bitterly cold and so strong that I eventually gave up.
We arrived at the London Wetlands Centre after a while and as I went round the reserve there were so few people that I was questioning whether I was meant to be there or not! I don't know what it was about that day that made them all stay inside the centre. Scanning from the first couple of hides revealed nothing but the usual stuff and a single Sand Martin. I saw two Redshank from the second hide and got great views of Ring-necked Parakeets on the feeders. The Water Vole showed well again at the feeding platform. I went to the wader scrape hide where here was nothing of note other than a Redshank and the peacock tower were, again, there was nothing of note. So I missed the Garganey again... and the Scaups...
It was a fairly enjoyable day anyway, the Black-necked Grebes being the highlight by far, I got stunning views of them.

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