On the 12th , it was off to Keyhaven/Pennington for the day with Tricia, my wife. The birding was slow, one of the quietest days here that I can remember. There were a lot of SWALLOWS and HOUSE MARTINS, feeding up for their long journey south, but not much else.
On the 17th, I went to Staines Moor, Surrey. My last time here was way back in December 2009, when I managed to see the long staying BROWN SHRIKE, this visit was for a BARRED WARBLER, which had appeared about seven days earlier. At first I was the only birder there and didn't quite know where to start looking, Staines Moor is a large area for a small bird to hide in.
After forty five minutes or so of fruitless searching, I came across another birder, who had set up his camera facing a large blackberry bush. He told me that this was the bush that the warbler favoured, so it wasn't a hard decision to set up camp there also.
Another twenty or so uneventful minutes passed by and I was beginning to think that it wouldn't show, when it suddenly appeared at the top of the bush. After eating some blackberries, it rested for a few minutes, before flying off to another bush nearby and out of sight.
I stayed for another half an hour and then decided to make my home, but just as I was leaving, two birders, that I had spoken to earlier, who were two hundred yards away began signalling to me to come to where they were standing. When I reached them, they pointed to the base of a small bush twenty yards away and there it was, my bogie bird. A bird that I had unsuccessfully tried to see over a fair few years and was beginning to think it would always elude me, a WRYNECK, superb.
It has been quiet at Moor Green Lakes through the month. During the last week, four RUFF were seen at the New Workings, I would think that the lower water levels there have attracted them in to search for food. A female DARTFORD WARBLER was at Manor Farm. Last Autumn and winter, there were two sightings of a male and not surprisingly all of the Dartford's were seen in the company of STONECHATS, who they tend to hang out with.