Naturelog: Saturday 29th November

Posted: December 1, 2014 in Birds, London, Natural History, UK
Tags: , ,

Off this morning to Staines Reservoir in West London

Staines Reservoir looking north to Heathrow Airport

Staines Reservoir looking north to Heathrow Airport


This seems to have been a magnet for wintering species this past week with a number of rare wintering species for London turning up. Staines reservoir is actually two large reservoirs separated by a causeway which runs between them. On arrival I am quickly put onto the Great Northern Diver a long way out on the northern basin and although over the course of the morning it was to come closer to the causeway it was never close enough to photograph unlike the one seen here in Feb 2013 which was very close to us.
Great Northern Diver (Staines Feb 2013)

Great Northern Diver (Staines Feb 2013)

Further along the causeway I stop to chat to another birdwatcher and we look for a male Red-Breasted Merganser that was seen earlier this morning. After 10 minutes of searching we locate it and are able to put others onto it using Terminal 5 at Heathrow airport as a usual location marker for its position on the water.

Red-Breasted Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser (male)
Photo by Steven Severinghaus (https://www.flickr.com/photos/horsepunchkid/)

At the western end of the causeway there are 2 Black-Necked Grebes which are present with 2 Little Grebes allowing a nice comparison of these 2 small Grebe species, but alas no good photographs could be got of them.

Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) ♀
Black-necked Grebe in winter plumage
Photo by Ian White (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ian_white/)

Apart from these star species there are a selection of winter ducks together with Coot and a number of Pied Wagtails.

Coot

Coot

Pied wagtail

Pied wagtail

Wigeon

Wigeon

Goldeneye

Goldeneye

A great mornings birdwatching with some good, if distant views of three rare wintering species for London.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Great Northern Loon (Gavia immer)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Black-necked Grebe [sp] (Podiceps nigricollis)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Meadow Pipit [sp] (Anthus pratensis)

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