After success yesterday morning with the Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll in Suffolk, it would have been rude not to call in to see the American Buff-bellied Pipit at the Queen Mother Reservoir in Berkshire on the way back to Dorset. In my experience, this species' preferred habitat in Britain is the mossy margins of dirty great man-made water bodies (the first I saw was at Farmoor in Oxfordshire). It was a very worthwhile detour as for the second time in a day I had a stunning views of a rare bird in front of me which was too close for the lens to focus. The light wasn't as kind as the Suffolk sunrise I enjoyed earlier, and many blurry shots of this very active bird were confined to the recycle bin before I found these. I could have stayed longer but with the brownie point jar having been not just raided but positively smashed on the floor for twitchers' widows and their orphans to slash their little feet on, I beat a retreat just as lumps of rain started fallen from the leaden skies around Heathrow.
2 months ago