At last, another sunny day. First stop was Staines Reservoir, where I wandered across the causeway and back. I was told there were Scaup and Black-Necked Grebes there, but they were well out of range of my camera and binoculars. I enjoyed watching the Goldeneye, Great Crested Grebes, Cormorants, Tufty Ducks, Wigeon, Goldfinches, a Pied Wagtail (in flight), and Boeing 747s.
Goldeneye, Staines Reservoir.
A Pied Wagtail flew past, and had a yellow face, possibly showing it to be a juvenile. It was flying in the "flap-flap-flap - g l i d e - flap-flap-flap - g l i d e -" pattern characteristic of wagtails, and in the picture it is in the - g l i d e - phase, with its wings completely folded away.
Pied Wagtail (with yellow face) flying across Staines reservoir.
Two goldfinches sat on the fence and watched me distainfully, while they took a rest from whatever journey they were on.
Goldfinch, Staines reservoir.
I then moved on to Staines Moor. The river was quite high, but not in flood. I watched Dabchicks, Skylarks, a Little Egret, Pipits (Meadow and Water), and a Kestrel (on the lookout for a Brown Shrike, highly regarded among gourmet Kestrels).
Dabchick (Little Grebe), foraging on the Colne
Kestrel, watching for his lunch on Staines Moor.
A Jay in the orchards at Wisley
The River Wey runs past the gardens, and was very high and fast-flowing. I was surprised to see a Little Grebe out in the middle of the rapids, swimming frantically upstream but moving rapidly downstream. He eventually made it to the bank.
Little Grebe against the current!
Technical notes: All pictures taken with Sigma 150-500mm lens. Reservoir shots used bean bag for support (http://www.camerabeanbags.co.uk/). All others used a tripod except for the fast-flowing Grebe, where a wobbly fence was quickly pressed into service, and in-flight shots which were hand-held and panned.