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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Shag

Today Lori and I took a quick trip out to Staines Reservoirs. This was Lori's first visit, so I was sure there would be some good birds for us to see. On arrival we spotted two Black-necked Grebe on the south reservoir, a new U.K. bird for Lori. With a recent report of a Shag we began to scan through all of the cormorants. With no real contenders for this rarer bird we continued on where we met with some other birders. One chap from Woking called Bob had seen the shag earlier in the morning but since then it had disappeared. We chatted for a while, enjoying the antics of a Hobby over the south reservoir and getting our first look a Goldeneye. Lori and I continued along the footpath and just as we decided to turn around we spotted the Shag! The initial feel was the bird was smaller, daintier with a smaller-slender bill that was yellowish in colour. The peaked crown also was apparent. Having said that, I did ask the other birders for there opinion. They all agreed with the identification and as luck would have it the bird flew directly in front us and out to the tern rafts. That was great as you then got a really good comparison of size and shape with both species; Cormorants and Shag.



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