I was taking my Mum back home to London today so took the opportunity to do some London birding. I invited Pete and John to join me. We were on our way before eight and made a stop en-route at Fobney Island, http://thamesriverstrust.org.uk/projects/fobney-wetland-nature-reserve-project/ a small nature reserve on the outskirts of Reading where, yesterday a Garganey had spent the day. Predictably we weren’t able to find it and due to the lack of reports we assume that it had left overnight. Still a pleasant half hour was spent at this nice little reserve. Then it was back on the M4 to London. After dropping my Mum home we headed off to the WWT London site at Barnes. Neither Pete or John had been here before. It was pretty quiet here with the best sighting being a showy Cetti’s Warbler. Also of note were copulating Parakeets, Kingfisher, a couple of Redshanks and some Sand Martins.
Next stop was the Pen Ponds at Richmond Park. A short walk here added close views of a Green Woodpecker, Great Crested Grebe and Egyptian Goose to the day list.
We then moved onto Richmond Lock where we had lunch by the River with Grey Wagtail being the only new species seen.
From here we went to Staines Reservoir. We arrived during a heavy downpour so had to wait around fifteen minutes in the car before it cleared. Plenty going on here although the strong wind made conditions a bit challenging. Here I got my only year tick of the day with four Little Ringed Plover seen. Despite extensive scanning we couldn’t find any Black-necked Grebes and had to be content with Shoveler, Wigeon and Goldeneye. As always there was the added attraction of the planes taking off from Heathrow and I even managed to get Pete to raise his binoculars at a couple of them.We ended the day on fifty-one species which included Buzzard and Red Kite seen along the M4.