Staines Moor and Reservoir

Bird sounds at the Moor Lane starting point were dominated by noisy parakeets while a red kite flew quietly nearby. 

A hardy group of twelve then walked along the Colne across Staines Moor. There were relatively few birds, perhaps because the river was exceptionally high and the weather was windy and showery. Little grebes (at least three) were beginning to acquire summer plumage. Other birds seen included a green woodpecker, a grey wagtail, a kestrel, moorhens, stonechats, and a single little egret. On three occasions separate small birds took to the air from the water’s edge and flew a long way; they were probably water pipits although they moved too far and too fast for clear identification.

Most birds at the Reservoir were on the south basin with diving birds featuring very strongly. Most numerous were tufted ducks but the group was very pleased to see in the southwest section the long-tailed duck that has lingered there for several weeks. Two black-necked grebes and five goldeneye were also showing. The south basin, its sides and the causeway also held pochards, wigeon, shovelers, great crested grebes, coots, linnets, meadow pipits and several pied wagtails. Most surprising (in every sense) was the red kite which flew up from the reservoir side a few yards away. Initially the only birds of note on the north basin were a common gull, gadwalls and two grey herons.

A few who stayed and kept watch were later delighted by the sight of seven or eight more black-necked grebes diving and popping up in a line.