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Great Northern Diver

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Old Friday 9th February 2007, 11:48   #1
patroberts
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Great Northern Diver

The benefits of joining this site are immediate, I had a reply to my first posting from Tony Keene letting me know that a Gt Northern Diver was on Staines Resevoir. There have been a number of sitings this week but my colleague and braved the sleet at lunchtime and saw a single bird. It was in the middle of the southern half of the Reservoir. We also saw plenty of Widgeon, Tufted plus three Cormorants. On arrival a kestrel chased starlings then sat in the electricity supports for a while and on leaving a solitory Fieldfare sat on the outer fence.
And England won the cricket - what a day
Pat
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Old Friday 9th February 2007, 12:27   #2
dylan71
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Hi Patroberts

I live in Sunbury just down the road from the reservoir.. im not an expert birder and failed to find the diver twice. But I almost expected not too see it.. then I went down there 2 weeks ago with an experienced birder and found two !!! one in the south basin the other in the north. Just shows if you believe you will find it you have a better chance.

Also a great win for England... at 15 - 3 i thought here we go again !!

If you local check out bedfont lakes (good for bittern and smew) and staines moor.
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Old Friday 9th February 2007, 12:42   #3
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Hi Guys,

Not that I go to Stanies Res that often, but I think Black-necked Grebe are pretty much a Winter certainty there - need to have a careful look around, they sometimes favour the far end of the North Res.

Not sure if they're still there now, but I know that there have been lots of reports of Goldeneye too - they were certainly there when I last visited in December.


All the best.... Ruby
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Old Friday 9th February 2007, 13:24   #4
JohnnyH
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Hi Pat,

Congrats on seeing the GND, I went to see it again myself last week, nice bird. As Ruby says, the Black Necked Grebes are at Staines Res almost year round, there tend to be fewer in the Winter, peak counts are usually from August to around October. You might also be interested to know that there is a Bittern at the London Wetland Centre at Barnes at the moment, just got back from there. The Bittern was putting on a great show this morning, awesome stuff.

Cheers,

John.
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Old Friday 9th February 2007, 18:46   #5
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HI,

Reported on another website today.....

"I had a rare trip to Staines Reservoirs today.
The highlights being 5 Black necked Grebes, 17 Goldeneye and 2 Redshank"
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Old Friday 9th February 2007, 21:35   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patroberts
The benefits of joining this site are immediate, I had a reply to my first posting from Tony Keene letting me know that a Gt Northern Diver was on Staines Resevoir. There have been a number of sitings this week but my colleague and braved the sleet at lunchtime and saw a single bird. It was in the middle of the southern half of the Reservoir. We also saw plenty of Widgeon, Tufted plus three Cormorants. On arrival a kestrel chased starlings then sat in the electricity supports for a while and on leaving a solitory Fieldfare sat on the outer fence.
And England won the cricket - what a day
Pat
Nice one, congrats. What´s cricket?
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Old Saturday 10th February 2007, 08:12   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancho
Nice one, congrats. What´s cricket?
It's an insect that rubs its legs together and a pal of Pinnochio, apparently.
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Old Saturday 10th February 2007, 10:39   #8
David Smith
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Are GND's uncommon??

Being VERY new at bird 'spotting' I was at Holyhead harbour (Anglesey) 2 weeks ago looking at what I THINK were 2 Great Northern Divers. I say 'think' because they were certainly divers (spending as much time below as above water) but the markings were diffent to that shown in my 2 books. Both were black & white-1 of them had distinct white bars on the sides (wings?) while the other was more what I would call 'mottled'. When they dived I was struck by how red the feet were. I assume they are between winter & summer coats.
I was quite happy that they were GND's but this thread seems to indicate they are not seen very often-is this beginners luck or not GND's ?
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Old Saturday 10th February 2007, 18:23   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Smith
Being VERY new at bird 'spotting' I was at Holyhead harbour (Anglesey) 2 weeks ago looking at what I THINK were 2 Great Northern Divers. I say 'think' because they were certainly divers (spending as much time below as above water) but the markings were diffent to that shown in my 2 books. Both were black & white-1 of them had distinct white bars on the sides (wings?) while the other was more what I would call 'mottled'. When they dived I was struck by how red the feet were. I assume they are between winter & summer coats.
I was quite happy that they were GND's but this thread seems to indicate they are not seen very often-is this beginners luck or not GND's ?
Its difficult to say with confidence from that description, but I see no reason for them not to be GNDs (the mottled description may well apply to a juvenile). They are definitely not what you might call 'rare', but they are certainly scarce.
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Old Saturday 10th February 2007, 18:36   #10
Touty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Smith
Being VERY new at bird 'spotting' I was at Holyhead harbour (Anglesey) 2 weeks ago looking at what I THINK were 2 Great Northern Divers. I say 'think' because they were certainly divers (spending as much time below as above water) but the markings were diffent to that shown in my 2 books. Both were black & white-1 of them had distinct white bars on the sides (wings?) while the other was more what I would call 'mottled'. When they dived I was struck by how red the feet were. I assume they are between winter & summer coats.
I was quite happy that they were GND's but this thread seems to indicate they are not seen very often-is this beginners luck or not GND's ?
Red feet screams "Black Guillemot" to me... as does the rest of the description, Nice birds nevertheless.... about 10% the size of a GND!
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Old Saturday 10th February 2007, 19:28   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patroberts
The benefits of joining this site are immediate, I had a reply to my first posting from Tony Keene letting me know that a Gt Northern Diver was on Staines Resevoir. There have been a number of sitings this week but my colleague and braved the sleet at lunchtime and saw a single bird. It was in the middle of the southern half of the Reservoir. We also saw plenty of Widgeon, Tufted plus three Cormorants. On arrival a kestrel chased starlings then sat in the electricity supports for a while and on leaving a solitory Fieldfare sat on the outer fence.
And England won the cricket - what a day
Pat
That's quite alright - glad it was useful to you.
I think I put the Surrey Bird Club website on the post for you, but if you feel like adventuring over the borders, here's another two:
www.berksbirds.co.uk Berkshire Birds
www.hos.org.uk Hampshire Ornithological Society
BerksBirds is a very useful site as users can input whatever they see, regardless of how rare or common and the more commonly reported birding sites have maps linked to them. HOS is good for rareties, but mostly covers the South coast.
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Old Sunday 11th February 2007, 08:57   #12
David Smith
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Yes-Black Guillimot

Thank you-I just looked them up on the RSPB site and think you are quite correct. As you say the red feet are striking and the white bar is exactly how I remember. I assume the mottled one is 'young'.
As a new bird spotter I am just as pleased as if it had been a GND
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Old Sunday 11th February 2007, 09:34   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Smith
Thank you-I just looked them up on the RSPB site and think you are quite correct. As you say the red feet are striking and the white bar is exactly how I remember. I assume the mottled one is 'young'.
As a new bird spotter I am just as pleased as if it had been a GND
So you should be, David, as Black Guillemot are a beautiful bird and quite uncommon generally in the UK - although they breed on Anglesey and this is a good place to see them.

The mottled bird is most likely a first-winter - they are scruffier than the adults and the white patch is not clearly defined like the adult.

Incidentally, Holyhead harbour does also have Great Northern Divers in winter - I saw my first there when I was about 7, but they are much, much bigger birds.

All the best,
Graham
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Old Monday 12th March 2007, 17:07   #14
patroberts
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Tony, I lost sight of this post and we are now into March. Have been a few times to Staines as its an easy walk at lunchtime especially as its dried a little. We saw 7 Black Necked Grebe and 5 Golden Eye plus the more usual residents. Last week I was by myself and saw 2 meadow Pipits playing on the central causeway plus a small group of mating pied wagtails. There was 1 Oystercatcher on the furthest Tern Nest Float on the northern basin but it wasnt there today. We had a passing raptor which we had in sight for a while but couldnt identify other than it wasnt Sparrowhawk, Kestrel or Merlin. I have joined Surrey Birders and will do the same for the Berkshire group. My wife and I went to Moor Green Lakes on saturday, met some helpful people, spotted Egyptian Geese but despite others siting Goosander we couldnt spot any. This prompted a visit to In Focus at barnes where we have bought a scope - a Nikon ES50 which is ideal for walking and travelling. Many thanks for your links and advice they are really appreciated.
Regards Pat

Quote:
Originally Posted by colonelboris
That's quite alright - glad it was useful to you.
I think I put the Surrey Bird Club website on the post for you, but if you feel like adventuring over the borders, here's another two:
www.berksbirds.co.uk Berkshire Birds
www.hos.org.uk Hampshire Ornithological Society
BerksBirds is a very useful site as users can input whatever they see, regardless of how rare or common and the more commonly reported birding sites have maps linked to them. HOS is good for rareties, but mostly covers the South coast.
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Old Monday 12th March 2007, 18:09   #15
michaelmacey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancho
Nice one, congrats. What´s cricket?

Only an englishman knows what cricket is. And how to lose at it. lol. Good to get your chosen quarry, Im going to make up a list of things i want to see this year, sand martins will be on there. And a short eared owl.

Do kestrals chase other birds often?, iv only ever seen them hovering for a mouse or something.
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