Sunday, 20 January 2013

Berk-ing mad

My parents told me I was nuts to go to Berkshire today, what with the snow and everything - I sort of agreed but I also fancied seeing the Pallas's Warbler at Moor Green Lakes. I gave Canons a forty-minute skywatch first thing (producing a Meadow Pipit and a Grey Heron) then picked up Josh and headed to Bracknell where we collected Liam from the station. So far so good, no jams or skidding on the ice. It wasn't far to Moor Green Lakes and, after a bit of figuring out, we found the car park. A bit of a walk by the river and we found the right area and the tit flock then bam! there was the Pallas's Warbler - beauty! I've seen one very well before, in The Parsonage on St Agnes, but it was just as exciting seeing one again (and in the unique snow-covered landscape!). It was quite mobile and was constantly feeding, often hovering and allowing the yellowish rump to be seen. Here Liam and I met our friend Pete who we know from our trips to Scilly - it was great to catch up. Also at Moor Green were three Goosanders (one drake), a Golden Plover, four Common Snipes, a Red Kite and a Grey Wagtail. Bizarre was a Meadow Pipit feeding on the muddy banks of the small, tree-fringed river.

Pallas's Warbler - had ISO too high and didn't realise (using spare camera)
Red Kite

After a bit of pondering as to what to do next, we went to McDonald's. Refreshed, we then went to Staines Reservoir. This was cold and uncomfortable but was enjoyable. A Black-necked Grebe showing on the South Basin fairly close to the causeway was the first I'd seen in a while and there was a pleasant surprise when Liam called 'large waders!' and I got on them to see a pair of Bar-tailed Godwits which only my second London area sighting and a good one this far inland in the winter. There was quite a number of Goldeneyes as well plus two Redshanks and the odd Wigeon etc.

Black-necked Grebe

Got home without a problem too. The only slight issue was the roads approaching Moor Green which got a little slippery at a couple of points but overall the trip went smoothly and was a success!