The weather has been ideal over the last couple of days with Skuas being pushed into the Thames Estuary. Today the weather looked perfect again for good movements of birds. Dodge took up post at the Farm while I sat nervously at work.
A Merlin was the hi-light of his efforts at the Farm but little did I know that the best was yet to come and long after the “Chigley hooter had sounded!” (Who remembers that?).
A rapid fire of text messages from Ninja and then Dodge had me spring into action and off in pursuit of a Surrey VC tick and there were seven of them...Amazing, unbelievable and the traffic wasn’t too bad either!
On arrival at QEII Reservoir I donned layers of waterproofs met up with Ninja and then had those stairs to negotiate...which blast me out when I’m fully fit!! After some heavy breathing and a Wheatear which seemed to be mocking my efforts just keeping four steps ahead of me looking round and chuckeling!! a recovery walk along the side of the reservoir was the order of the moment! I then pitched the scope and put it on a group of large birds in the middle of the reservoir! Great Skuas...Jackpot!!Woo hoo!
The seven Great Skuas were nicely grouped together in the middle of the reservoir. There was the odd bout of wing flexing and then a chase after a group of Gulls that certainly weren’t expecting a welcoming party. The Skuas split up and six disappeared into the cloud with a single bird flying towards Knight and Bessborough reservoirs.
Within five minutes all seven birds had returned to QEII and were almost in the same position as before. I went with Ninja to check out Island Barn and low and behold he found two more Great Skuas sat on the water. No wonder the gulls were going nuts!!
This was just amazing nine Bonxies in the space of an hour and all were on the deck!! I was in Surrey VC tick heaven which now stands at a respectable 224! Just to add more flavour to the afternoon a Kittiwake made a brief appearance calling as it flew over the reservoir.
A few handshakes and thanks later and I made my way home half expecting to be stuck in the rush hour jam but that didn't materialize either...sometimes the dice do roll in your favour. All that is required now is for one bird to make it to the Farm!!