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Welcome to my blog. If you live in Surrey and birding is your obsession (to get out of bed at some ridiculously early time of the morning, no matter what the weather, to go and look at birds isn't normal behaviour, believe me) and you're still a bit of a novice (like me) then, hopefully, this blog is for you.



Wednesday, 14 May 2014

GREAT NORTHERN DIVER ENCORE AT STAINES RESERVOIR

Nothing much to report apart from a couple of visits to Staines Reservoir. The first one was on Thursday, May 8, which was a bitterly cold day with plenty of rain.

The plus side was meeting up with 'Captain' Bob Warden and Ken Purdey, two birders I have a huge amount of respect for.
Ken Purdey and Captain Bob
Mother Mallard keeps an eye on her youngsters just a few feet away from us
The birding was slow but included 11 Dunlin plus a return of the Great Northern Diver, which I spotted flying across the south basin, circling and then flying over the causeway in front of us. We were able to see its fantastic summer plumage as it passed by, before it landed some distance away on the north basin. T'was a mighty fine sight.

After a few hours, even Bob had had enough of the autumnal weather and we all went home.

I went up again on Monday evening, where once again I met up with Ken, but the birding was hard going, just one Dunlin to show for it among the many Common Terns and Swifts. A Whimbrel apparently had gone over earlier, but I missed that. Once again the heavens opened, and it wasn't long before I was heading back in a monsoon.

A rainbow over the reservoir. The dots in the picture
aren't any of the many Swifts but the midges that take over the place
when the wind drops
The rain's coming...
So, that has been the past week to ten days. Pretty uneventful, considering this is supposed to be the height of the spring migration. Having said that, Ken had seen an Arctic Skua the day before over the reservoir, so anything can appear at any time.

What next? Well, I've planned three days off and will be going to Portland Bill from Sunday to next Tuesday, so hopefully there will be plenty to write about on my return. Whatever happens, I'm really looking forward to the break.

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