Saturday, 15 December 2012

Buff Bellied Pipit

An American Buff Bellied Pipit was identified a couple of days ago on the Queen Mother Reservoir next door to Windsor. Access is restricted, but luckily the local society has been able to arrange day permits so Colin and i went down for the 1000 opening. We arrived ten minutes early to find that 150 had already been admitted.
The small crowd on the southern bank indicated the bird's location, but it was very mobile, feeding all along the southern shoreline, and it was simply a case of staking a spot and waiting for the bird to walk past in front of you. Rather like the Abberton desert Wheatear, photographers with long lenses were at a severe disadvantage as the Pipit approached to within a few feet.

 I managed to take well over 300 images within a very small space of time, and have only selected a few to work on so far.
Few other birds present-a Red Necked Grebe among numerous Great Cresteds was seen over on the far shore, but I could not locate the Long Tailed Duck. A Peregrine perched on one of the pump towers was nice as I have managed to avoid getting good views of any so far this year.
Bumped into non twitcher Phil Ball (on his second twitch of the year) and Barry Reed, along with many other familiar faces.

Called in at Bramfield on the way back. Met a couple of Cambridge guys who had seen a Hawfinch just before we arrived. After some twenty minutes one flew out of the Rectory garden, circled and was lost to view. We walked around and down a lane and found it or another high in a tree some distance away. Got decent scope views but in the camera it was barely recognisable.
Nearby, a field held a small number of Lapwing and around 200 Golden Plover.

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