Three divers in one place! In London! An opportunity not to be missed. So instead of going the day reported because of work, I thought to clean up the next day, only to find the 2 rarer birds had already gone the same day as they were found. Supposedly pitched down on the neighbouring King George VI, I thought there was still a good chance that one or other would return. So there I am standing on my own in the wind and the rain staring at a very choppy northern basin with nothing but a few Tufties, Coots and grebes for company. No sign of any of the divers, and I am already getting cold.
Some members of the Richmond RSPB turn up. Aaah help I thought. My optimism misplaced somewhat, as they're all novices and are calling tufties as divers. Luckily one finds a big white bird somewhere to the north, which after looking at everything else I give it a go. Blimey he struck lucky. The Great Northern has suddenly appeared from nowhere. Rightly he is chuffed and I feel a bit bad for dismissing them all as muppets.
Gradually the bird moves around the basin after swallowing a rather large fish half asleep and half not doing very much. Having been on the basin for near on four months, there's probably not a lot left to do. Meanwhile the main target(s) are not availing themselves, so I look for the Scaup, and in failing to find that, the Black-necked Grebe, but settle for counting the Goldeneye.
The RSPB guided walk which never really got going, due to the non-appearance of the leader, leaves me alone again with the elements. My scope wanders along the banks looking for Wheatear and finding none, then to the west towards Windsor Castle. A couple of Kite where doing acrobatics far to the west and a Peregrine flew high over the adjacent reservoir. After 5 hours I decided to go and get warm and investigate the local Tesco's for food. With a couple of hours to kill before dark I dropped in on Bedfont Country Park. Really quite a nice little nature reserve they.ve got going there. Bugger all in it today, but with possibilities.
So not the tick fest I had dreamt about, and I will perhaps moving RTD off the a la carte menu on to the missed list. The PLL staggers on.