|Posted on March 18, 2012 at 4:15 PM|
Mealy Redpoll (flammea) positioned central in photo with Lesser Redpoll (cabaret) to left for comparison @ Warnham, West Sussex 18th March 2012
Lesser Redpolls (cabaret) @ Warnham, West Sussex 18th March 2012 (Top 2 males, bottom 2 females)
Male & Female Siskin @ Warnham, West Sussex 18th March 2012
Male Reed Bunting @ Warnham, West Sussex 18th March 2012
Nuthatch @ Warnham, West Sussex 18th March 2012
Common Chiffchaff @ Warnham, West Sussex 18th March 2012. My first Summer migrant of 2012.
Drake Greater Scaup @ Staines Reservoir, Surrey 18th March 2012. A few minutes earlier it had its head up....never mind.
3 out of the 4 Tired Northern Wheatear who found refuge in a small ditch @ Staines Reservoir 18th March 2012
Georgie & I popped to Tesco at 10am to get Kim a mother’s day present. When I got Georgie safely back home, I was then allowed to do a bit of birding. The evening before a Mealy Redpoll was seen at Warnham. Warnham is only 15 minutes from my house. It cost £1 to enter or £6 for an annual permit.
The decision was made I arrived at Warnham at 11:15am and bumped into Jake Everitt (Warden) as I entered the officel. The Lesser Redpoll flock must be 20 strong and were occupying the feeding station on arrival. I saw the Mealy Redpoll fairly shortly after entering the feeding station.I enjoyed the amazingly close views of the hungry birds. The photographic opportunities are good if you want to photograph Lesser Redpolls, Siskins, Golfinch etc. The distant call of a Chiffchaff had me gathering my scope and heading off in its direction.
I left Warnham just after midday and headed off to a nearby site to look for Lesser-spotted Woodpeckers. No sign and by now it was 14:30pm. I had a look at my pager and a message flashed up advertising Black-necked Grebes, Scaup & Shag at Staines, Surrey. All 3 would be 2012 yearticks. Last time I saw a Black-necked Grebe was way back in 2007, and that was in the drab winter plumage. I've seen Black-necked Grebes before at Staines and from what I can remember is that they use to show well close to the central causeway.
I arrived at Staines at 15:30pm. Ken Purdy arrived at the same time. He quickly found the Drake Scaup . The Black-necked Grebe were sadly very distant. It was hard to count how many Black-necked Grebes were present. They were frequently diving and stayed submerged for a long periods of time. I saw at least 5. Four of them were in summer plumage (beautiful) and 1 was almost in the transitional plumage to summer. Rob Innis gave me good directions to the 4 Wheatear he found at the entrance to the causeway, I headed over there and bumped into Gordon Shaw who was watching Wheatears. They must have freshly arrived as they were all huddled up together. I spotted 3 LRP's on the basin, which delighted Gordon who has now broken the 170 barrier on his yearlist. Miles ahead of me!
I got home in daylight at 18:00.