Wot no Horned Lark? Staines, 29 November 2017

Jus and I headed off to Staines yesterday. The original plan had been to wait on news of the American Horned Lark while enjoying the Parrot Crossbills at Santon Downham. The first part of the plan worked nicely with 32 Parrot Crossbills counted around the carpark and even seen coming down to drink in a puddle by the toilet block. News from Staines didn't come through so with time getting on we decided to go anyway.

After the drive we got there at lunchtime. Walking up the slope onto the causeway, dodging the dog shit, past the dog poo bags hanging on the pallisade fence and turning right at the abandoned supermarket trolley (you get the picture!) we were greeted by negative news from those on site. Under leaden skies and with darkening moods we gave it about an hour and a half until we almost froze to death and gave up. At least the view was nice, oh wait, it wasn't! Joking aside we did get some nice views of a Black-necked Grebe on the south basin plus a Peregrine, 5 Pintail, Goldeneye and c60 Pochard but were glad to leave in the end.

With a bit of time left before dark we called in at Stockers Lake, Rickmansworth on the way back round the M25. After a long walk all round the lake we eventually found 8 Red-crested Pochards plus a handful of Ring-necked Parakeets, 2+ Kingfishers, 3 Goldeneye and 8 Siskins. Around the M11 and M25 while driving we also clocked up 7 Red Kites and 3 Common Buzzards.

Red-crested Pochards


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