Friday, 14 April 2017

Great Northern Diver at Staines

Got stuck on the M25 Easter traffic yesterday and fortuitously decided to have a look at Staines. Met up with Rob Innes (later Beddington bro Nick Gardner arrived too) who put me on to the summer plumage Great Northern Diver which has been wintering- mainly on King George VI. Its a returning bird that has been wintering for the last three or four years, carries out a complete primary moult (and becomes flightless) before completing the moult into summer plumage and migrates in late April/ early May. 

Also had 3 Oystercatchers, a Sandwich Tern and 2 Common Tern. 

Sandwich Tern 
Oystercatcher- one of three birds 
The Staines famous midges feeding on Angelica (which is common on the causeway- normally a coastal plant) 

An amazingly powerful flyer when it gets going 


Arjun Dutta said...

Nice one Peter!
Yesterday I had, although a mystery at first, Merlin which drifted over in overcast conditions, towards Beddington in the afternoon.
Don't know if anyone saw anything though?

Peter Alfrey said...

Hi Arjun,
no sightings of Merlin yesterday locally as far as I know. Did you consider a small male Peregrine? Can look very Merlin like especially in silhouette.

Arjun Dutta said...

I've considered a few falcons, but what made me change my mind from a small Hobby was the fact that a Merlin was seen at Holmethorpe SPs.
Not ruling out anything yet.