Monday 4 January 2010

Water pipit at Staines Moor, redpolls at Barnes WWT

First thing today I went to Staines reservoir to see the black-necked grebe and female scaup. It was still freezing but managed to see both as well as some smew.

Then went to Staines Moor, not so much to see the brown shrike (which hasn't been seen now since 2 January) but more for the water pipits. I decided to walk up from the southern end so as not to have the sun in my eyes. A dog-walker told me the way but it wasn't quite as direct as I was expecting. I got to the river and started taking pictures of a little grebe in the reeds.

Little grebe, Staines Moor

A large flock of fieldfare flew overhead. Another photographer (Ian, alias Fungus McBogle) came along and we talked for a while before Ian noticed a small bird fly along the river, a water pipit. We were able to take quite a few pictures before it flew further upstream.

Water pipit, Staines Moor

As it was only about two o'clock, I decided to go to Barnes to see the bittern. I met Corinna Smart coming out as I went in. She advised me to go straight for the flock of redpolls that were feeding on the Wild Side. I went in and managed to find the birch tree where there were one or two other birdwatchers waiting. The redpolls soon returned and allowed very close approaches for some lovely pictures in the warm light of the late afternoon sun. I did see the bittern briefly and distantly from the Dulverton hide but it was very skulking. However, a jack snipe was another welcome bird for my year list from the same hide. I went home very pleased with the redpoll photos which I knew would take me hours to sort out. Ah Well! It's always nice to get at least one good photo!

Lesser redpoll, Barnes WWT

Lesser Redpoll, Barnes WWT


  1. Your Staines shots are definitely clearer than mine; the tripod and extra x1.4 make all the difference. You also did well on the Redpolls; both times I've been to Barnes recently there were so many birders around (20-30) that the Redpolls were staying high in the trees. (I did see a Redpoll on my garden feeder yesterday but it didn't stay for a picture.)

  2. Nice Lesser Redpoll photos - sorry you missed the Mealy Redpolls - you are in good company...many birders did as well.


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