Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Birding Hotspot - Staines Reservoir.

For this weeks edition of Good Fences I'm taking you to one of the most exposed birding hotspots within the Surrey County recording area ... the Staines Reservoir causeway that bisects the north and south basins.

Definitely not the place to be on a dreary, cold and wet winter day unless you go well wrapped up but with rarities turning up anytime throughout the year sometimes you just have to brave the elements.

What I hadn't anticipated to find was that the north basin had been emptied for maintenance purposes but this does provide the ideal habitat for migrant waders etc to drop in from time time.

I recall this basin also being empty in September 2004 when I logged my first Pectoral Sandpiper in the UK.

Visitors this month have already included Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Curlew, Dunlin, Ruff, Rock and Water Pipit, Oystercatcher, Black-tailed Godwit, Wheatear and a nearby Black Redstart.

Scanning the water to the south, while looking into the wintery sun,  and the mud to the north while coping with the interruptions of several wind driven rain showers wasn't particularly comfortable but I did locate the Great Northern Diver, Oystercatcher (2), Common Redshank (4), Lapwing, Dunlin (3) plus the usual ducks such as Wigeon, Teal, Gadwall, Goldeneye, Mallard, Tufted, Common Pochard, Northern Shoveler and several Shelduck.

Along the causeway bank I counted around 45 Pied Wagtails (Motacilla alba ssp. yarrellii) busily feeding on insects. I should have paid more attention to all these Wagtails as there was probably a White (ssp. alba) amongst them.  While looking through a small group of Meadow Pipits I located a moulting Water Pipit.

A Coot taking a stroll.

With a good number of [Eurasian] Wigeon frequenting the concrete slopes I couldn't pass up the opportunity for a few shots before heading home.

So enduring the elements added four species to my Surrey year list including one new addition to my 2015 annual list from the 29 species seen during a 55 minute visit.

Next time I'll try to plan a visit here when the sun is shining!  FAB.

19 comments:

  1. adorable wigeons and coot. sweet wagtail, too. thanks, frank!

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  2. I have to say you take pictures of some fascinating birds that I have never laid eyes on before. Congrats on seeing these new birds and I have never seen a coot doing a walkabout. Wonderful images and nice fence shots too.

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    1. Thank you for the compliments Stephanie. Always pleased to be able to share images of species you may not have seen before.

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  3. Nice shot of the coot! The Wigeons are beautiful ducks!

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  4. Muy buenas imágenes... Un saludo desde Murcia...

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  5. hi frank! i saw that you comment on good fences today but didn't link in, so i linked you. :)

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  6. Nice fences and birds, Frank! I always enjoy the variety of birds you see....

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  7. Frank first I want to thank you for dropping into my blog this morning and commenting.

    That # 1 photograph you took is a Wow to me. The way you took it. magnificent.

    I like your birds. The black one I think I know of course you named it. I don't think in my area. It has landed.

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  8. Excellent photo documentation. Warm greetings!

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  9. I think the Wagtails, specifically the White, have started to return already to our shores Frank.

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  10. WOW what a fence and your bird shots are incredible. Thank you for sharing this interesting post and also for stopping by.
    Have a great weekend.
    CM

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  11. What a great place for bird watching...love all that fence! And the pied wagtails were particularly awesome!

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  12. WOW Frank, I love the first shot and the close up shot of the fence in the last shot.

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  13. Thanks for thinking about fences while you
    were out there in the cold and rain :)
    Love your pictures of the ducks :)
    Have a beautiful evening
    【ツ】Knipsa

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  14. Nice pictures. I don't think I have ever seen a Coot.

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  15. Amazingly good pictures especially for a Rainy day. Lovely birds. And as always in awe of the numbers.

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  16. wonderful fences and a great group of birds you seen.

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  17. I like the fences, but I love the birds!

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I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.

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