Friday, 14 December 2012

Buff-bellied Pipit, Berkshire

Breaking news of a rare American vagrant found at the Queen Mother Reservoir in Berkshire sees us make the trip today. A first for the county and also for the London recording area.
Although the bird was first seen on Wednesday afternoon it wasn't identified until Thursday after it was  relocated. 
Buff-bellied Pipit
The day started with conflicting messages as regard to site access. Firstly being reported that permits were available, then that they weren't, and then that they were.
With no permit for this reservoir we were undecided whether to try for it today or wait until tomorrow when permits would be available.
A phone call to Brian, who it turns out is already working around the Watford area, makes our minds up and we set off for the meeting place.
From here it's another 15 miles to the reservoir. While on route we get news that no more permits would be available today.
We are too close now not to try our luck. We arrive to find LGRE sitting in his car at the main gates.
"Have you got a permit" We say no and think there's going to be no entry for us.
Instead he says "Pull up over there and we'll sort you out with some". He informs us where the bird has been showing and that we won't be needing a scope to view it. It's about a mile walk away.
We set off and in driving rain climb the grass bank to the concrete wall surrounding the reservoir.

The Pier
There's plenty of happy faces passing us even in these foul conditions.

Walking pass the pier we stop about fifty yards before the next lifebuoy. We get straight on the bird as it's seen feeding along the waters edge.
The bird is constantly on the move feeding and begins to walk closer and closer towards us, until it is showing down to a couple of meters and less.
We leave drenched but very happy.

A big thanks has to go to LGRE who manned the gate today for a good few hours, allowing us and many others the opportunity to see the bird.

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