|Common Goldeneyes (above and below): back at Staines for the winter.|
With strong winds and steady rain, I headed out on Remembrance Day morning to check the west London reservoirs via the scenic route – a site just beyond the north-west edge of the London Area where Grey Partridges were reported last week. None there today, however – just three Red-legs, as I have come to expect. Nonetheless, I worked the fields between this location, which is next to the site of the old Roman city of Verulamiam, and the M25; in the deteriorating conditions there weren’t many birds, the best being two more coveys of Red-legs (numbering five and 15 birds), 30 or so Fieldfares, a Yellowhammer, a calling Common Buzzard and a Red Kite over the M25 as I headed away westwards.
Up on the Queen Mother Reservoir – which straddles the border of the London recording area – the wind was far stronger, though the rain had abated. The water was positively rough and I had hopes of finding a seabird swept up from the south coast, but an hour of diligent scanning brought no more than another Common Buzzard (surprising to see large raptors on the wing in these conditions).
|A distant female Greater Scaup (left) with a male Tufted Duck at Staines.|
|This Tufted Duck with a nasal saddle may have originated from France.|
|Great Crested Grebe in non-breeding plumage at Staines Reservoirs.|
|UPDATE: here's another image of that Greater Scaup, out of the water|
and showing its unusually grey flanks to good effect. Probably an adult
female, but eye colour indeterminate from these distant record shots.