Seeing Blue

This morning I was driving to London to bring my Mum back to Swindon for a few days. Normal routine would be a quick stop at Staines Reservoir on the way. Today the lure of a Roller reported at Brockhurst Common near the Hampshire/ Surrey border was more of a draw. So six o’clock saw me heading off along the M4. Routing via Newbury and Basingstoke it wasn’t long before I was picking my way along the B Roads from Alton towards the Common. Not an area I know at all so I was relying on finding a stretch of road littered with abandoned cars to guide me to the right area. Rounding a bend on the B3004 and pretty well where expected I found a lay by full of empty cars. As I was getting my stuff together a birder appeared and he confirmed that the Roller was still around. After a walk of around a hundred metres I joined a group of birders who were all watching the Roller. After a quick look through another scope I set up and soon found the bird myself. It was perched a fair distance away, on top of a dead Silver Birch and looked resplendent in the morning sun. It was facing away from us and the contrast of blue on the head and brown on the back gave it a really exotic look. Definitely a bird of warmer climes. Fortunately for us it had managed to overshoot its Mediterranean breeding grounds. I watched it for about ten minutes as it occasionally turned its head, before it dropped down out of sight. It was then seen to fly off and across the common. I had been quite lucky with my timing as it moved on and later on in the day reappeared at Thursley Common just a few miles away. Also seen here was a Woodlark, a year tick, Cuckoo, IMG_0195 (1024x802)Blackcap and Chiffchaff. Leaving the common I headed up to London making a quick stop at Staines Reservoir on the way. Nothing rare here with no sign of either Black-necked Grebe or Black Tern. A few Common Terns and hundreds of Swifts along with a raft full of Black-headed Gulls were the main interest. So far this year I have managed a new bird every month although the Roller was just new for the UK as I have seen on e previously in Majorca.IMG_0209 (1024x700)


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