Having said that, I did go back to Rainham in an attempt to see the Sabine's Gull on Monday afternoon, but that turned out to be a disastrous effort. I spent a few hours grappling with a howling gale and torrential rain walking along the path alongside the River Thames, and while I happened to be on site at the right time I was in the wrong place – at the Serin Mound end – when it was seen by Dominic Mitchell and few others (who I discovered later were viewing outside the Rainham Reserve visitor's centre) briefly before disappearing out of sight for the rest of the day and forever more.
Although not my local patch, I visit Staines Reservoir more than any other patch these days. It's not as if I have a great record for seeing stuff there, to be honest. I've dipped a few good birds there just this year – Roseate Tern and White-winged Black Tern being the two stand outs – but I travel back because there is always the potential something will turn up, and with time always at a premium, it is very easy to get to.
|Rainbow at Staines Reservoir - but no birding gold at the end of it
|The juvenile Garganey eventually wakes up
We're deep into the autumn migration and Surrey is very quiet. If only Surrey and the Shetland Isles could swap places just for a few days.