On the 7th August:

1976

A drive to Manor Park Sewage Farm near Reading, when we arrived there was already a big crowd of birdwatchers, here to see a Black-winged Pratincole, which had been found on a pool on private land. We were only able to stand in an elevated area overlooking the farmland, but couldn't see into the pools. Every now and again the bird would fly over the fields and back to the pool, so we only got flight views. As expected, a couple of people tried to sneak down to the edge of the pool, but the farmer appeared in a muck-spreader and chased them off along the track, catching them before they made it back, no-one stood near them after that!

While waiting for the pratincole to fly, we had a look around the area we could get to, seeing 4 Grey Wagtails, a Hobby, 2 Kestrels, several Greenshank, a Snipe, a Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpipers, a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and a Water Vole.

After seeing the pratincole several times in flight, we decided to go to Staines Reservoir where we saw 2 Black-necked Grebes, a few duck, 10+ Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Turnstones, 3 Ruff, a Common Sandpiper and a few Dunlin.

We returned to Manor Park, where a truce had been negotiated with the farmer and he allowed the birdwatchers to go to the rim of the main pool and nowhere else. That was fine, as everyone got good views of the Black-winged Pratincole on the ground, we also saw 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Ruff, 3 Common Sandpipers, a Spotted Redshank, 5 Snipe, a Stonechat and 3 Whinchats.

1977

A visit to Frampton Lakes where we saw 4 Willow Tits, 3 Kingfishers, 7 Red-crested Pochards, several warblers and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

1986

In Ecuador escorting  a wildlife tour, 14 new birds seen today.

2004

A drive to west Cornwall, at a very blustery Drift Reservoir there was an adult Sharp-tailed Sandpiper which spent a lot of its time with one of the 2 Wood Sandpipers. Also seen were 5 Dunlin, a Common and 4 Green Sandpipers and a Greenshank. Later, I went to Hayle where on the estuary there were lots of gulls, Curlew and Oystercatchers, amongst them a 1st year Mediterranean Gull. From there to Penzance to wait for tomorrows seabird cruise.

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© 2014  Nigel Tucker. All rights reserved.

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