12th January 2013 - Kingsmead Quarry, Queen Mother Reservoir, London Wetland Centre

Still without camera I'm afraid which was incredibly annoying today with some of the great sights we had.  Whilst we started out on a trip to Rainham Marshes in Essex, a message on the pager got us turned in the opposite direction, towards Queen Mother Reservoir over by Slough.  Two American Buff-bellied Pipit had been there for a few days and had again been spotted that morning.  Approaching the entrance to the reservoir where day permits were being issued, the pager helped again with informing us that the two birds had popped over the side of the reservoir, down to some puddles in the Kingsmead Quarry nearby.  A detour lead us to the birds, showing extremely well, accompanied by some 4 cheerful Pied Wagtail.  A Grey Heron flying low over the trees added to the species count and we turned around to go back to the Queen Mother Reservoir to take advantage of the day permit.

The species were were trying to get were one we had picked up at Dungeness in 2012, a Long-tailed Duck and a new lifer, a Slavonian Grebe.  The reservoir was very very cold and windy and quite a long walk around to where we could see other birders gathered.  Luckily, once we got there, the Long-tailed Duck was easily spotted (after some guidance!) amongst Tufted Duck and after a small walk further along, we noticed a Grebe, soon identified as the Slavonian Grebe, bobbing alongside the Long-tailed Duck.  If only I had a camera - it was an amazing sight.  They also look remarkably similar!

We thought we'd top off an excellent day by trying to gain one more for the year, a Smew at the London Wetland Centre in Barnes, but unfortunately it was not to be found.

Buff-bellied Pipit in the middle...but I like the reflection around the outside!

Long-tailed Duck

Slavonian Grebe

Day list: 26
Year list: 56
Lifers on year list: 4


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