Sunday, 20 January 2013

An odd but successful day

Today my mum gave me a lift to Staines. Unfortunately the weather was terrible it snowed the whole time I was there.
I started off with some reservoir birding. As I arrived people where already scanning the reservoir. I started off on my own and looked around the reservoir and found some Goldeneye c.10, Meadow Pipits and a pair of Reed Buntings. As I walked along the path I spotted something skulking between the long grass and in the snow. I IDed as a Fieldfare which was a Year tick and carried on but then suddenly it flow up with a second bird which I instantly found in my bins and saw a snipe like bird trying to get as much distance between me and itself I saw the very promenent creamy yellow strips on its wings and recognised it as a JACK SNIPE. I was very glad to have something good so soon when I had only just arrived. I walked on to find it again and after about half an hour I saw it again wading on the very edge of the water. I ran over to one of the other birders to show him the bird but when we came back it did not show itself until I saw it fly off over the reservoir. It was found a few times more after that again. Whilst I was locating the Jack Snipe I also saw a BLACK NECKED GREBE in its transition plumage. After my success at the reservoir I decided to head over to the moor to have a try for some Short-eared Owls which had been there for a while. It took me a while to walk to the moor because I was tired and I felt a little ill but when I arrived I sat down on a bench and had a short rest. I turned around looking about the moor to see if I could see anything. As I looked across the moor I saw a large bird perched in a tree. I raised my binoculars and lo and behold it was a SHORT-EARED OWL I could hardly believe my luck. I watched it for a while and it gave me a great performance of hunting, diving and gliding over the long grass. But by now it was time for me to go so I set off for where my mum was going to pick me up. Unfortunately she got lost and I ended waiting an hour for her to arrive by which time I had been cryogenically frozen and I'm surprised she didn't need a defibrillator to get my heart going again.

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