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Friday, 14 December 2012

Buff London tick

Buff-bellied Pipit

Frustratingly, the Buff-bellied Pipit at Queen Mother Reservoir was a no-go as soon as the news came on the pager yesterday, as I had a mock exam in the afternoon. Still, it had been found the previous evening so looked like it might be sticking around a little, and I was hopeful for it continuing its stay until today. Franko had just had an operation on his left hand, making driving a little difficult so we arranged last night that I'd pick him up on news this morning; just after 9.00am he rang to say that Andrew Moon and others were watching the bird and it was still on site, so I picked him up and off we went. It was around this point that the weather took a nasty turn, with strong easterly winds and rather heavy rain. The journey to the reservoir wasn't too bad and we were soon searching with the other birders for the pipit, but could only find Meadow Pipits. We walked towards the south end but turned around after a while and tried the other side of the sailing club, Paul Whiteman arrived and went where we'd come from, after about twenty minutes the bird was on the pager and we rushed over there, passing a very happy Whiteman on the way. It was only a another hundred yards beyond where we'd looked! The weather was still gross, having turned almost to hail at one point, but the sodden-looking BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT showed superbly in the end. This was my second B-b Pipit, my first being on Scilly less than two months ago, and was equally as showy as the Bryher bird. Unfortunately, we couldn't enjoy this first for London for as long as I needed to get the car back for dad, and although we left in good time the traffic was awful on the return and I was very late back. The Red-necked Grebe was a welcome bonus bird as well.

I'm pretty sure I lost my iPhone at the reservoir this afternoon, probably at the south end of the car park, so if anyone finds it please let me know! Thanks!