I was on a downer at Canons Farm and Banstead Woods today after missing 2 Golden Plovers (a mega patch bird, the second record - found by Roy Weller) until I got a phone call from Steve Gale letting me know that a female Ferruginous Duck was at Holmethorpe Sand Pits.
I rang dad up and jumped in the car, risking missing another good patch bird, and within half an hour I was on site and walking towards the flooded area that the duck had been seen on.
After a bit of scanning I was on the female FERRUGINOUS DUCK, my 262nd British bird and a world lifer too - and it was in London! I walked back to sort out accurate directions for someone and when I came back the bird had disappeared. Graham James arrived on scene and eventually he got onto it and we managed to watch it at the back of the flooded area for a while but it was elusive and very difficult to see when it was hiding in the shade behind foliage. We got onto a couple of Common Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk which were enjoying the brief spouts of nice weather.Graham left and the bird showed a bit better, I waded along a flooded path to see if I could get better views from the other side, and I did, managing to get pretty close. Annoyingly it tucked its head back and it seemed like its mind was set on having a good snooze; the bird only ever lifted its head very briefly when I was close to it.
This is the closest thing to a BB rarity that I've seen within 10 miles of home.