On the lines yesterday saw that a buff-bellied pipit had been found and i.d'ed at QMR. Now that created a problem. the weather for today was meant to be really foul, but better on Saturday. But the bird might fly overnight. but i was at work on Friday with meetings till at least 1!!! I covered the bases by leaving the house with my 'scope and bins, boots and foul-weather gear.
Mid-morning and the bird was showing well, permits were being offered at a very reasonable £2 and the rain was lashing down. First meeting out of the way, bird still showing. Even dropped an email to Dave and Derek saying how about first thing Saturday. Then i remembered the green heron (amongst others) when i waited too long to get to a place where a bird had been. ok - phone call at 12.30 and go. Dashed into the car and piled over to QMR, getting there about 1.45. LGRE was on duty at the gate taking money and pointing me in the right direction. About 8 birders on site and the main group all in one place. Quick walk along the bank and there is was - cracking bird, not caring less about us, the weather or the constant stream on jets flying over. It was feeding down to about 10 feet or less. At one time it was so close we had to lean over the parapet to see it by the wall. spend about 30 minutes watching it - got really good views of diagnostic features like eye-ring, belly-colour, white edges to tail. Only shame was i didn't have my camera with me (note to self- why not have the 40d body and a cheap lens always in the car?). finally left about 3 as the weather was clearing a bit, but a very happy bunny!!!