How Not To Do It

Today I was on my way to London to spend a few days at my mums. On the way I had planned to stop to look for the Ring-necked Duck that has been at Bray Pit for a few weeks. However, as it hadn’t been reported over the weekend and that is was raining heavily I had decided not to bother. Approaching the Maidenhead junction on the M4 I changed my mind and decided to go for a look. From the small amount of research I had done I managed to find the car park for the BBONT reserve http://www.bbowt.org.uk/reserves/Bray-Pit. Then my problems started, it was raining hard and with no signs to the reserve it was a case of which way to go. Following the path alongside the watersports lake ignoring the path that went across the river. After being passed by a convoy of mud-spattered Segways I realised that I should have taken the other path. Retracing my steps I crossed the river and set of along an extremely muddy path. Through the trees I saw another lake, this one had a lot of ducks on it. Mainly Tufted along with some Pochard, Gadwall and Mallard. It was then that I realised that I hadn’t even checked if the Ring-necked was a male or a female. This meant that I had to check through all of the ducks on the lake, double the work. Three-quarters of an hour later, I was wet, my scope and bins were wet, my boots and leggings were covered in mud and still no RND. Very different from the New Brighton experience on Saturday. With a deadline for me to get to London it was now time to leave. The conditions underfoot were not conducive to fast walking and I had to be careful not to end up face down in the mud. So a lesson learnt, know where you are going and know what you are looking for.

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