I don't know what came over me to even consider doing it, but this morning I found myself boarding an hour long train to Berkshire, just as any normal person would do at half 9 on a Saturday. I've always considered myself a patch birder at heart- there's few places I'd rather spend my time birding than out on my local patch, Bushy Park- with the odd trip here and there around Surrey if something nice turns up- but only once have I ever been out of the county to twitch something, and that for a Sparrow, many moons ago.
The main motive behind this random inter-county trip to Berkshire was the promise (or rather, hope) of an absolutely stunning Pallas's Warbler spending the winter along a small stretch of the river at Moor Green Lakes, near Sandhurst. The warbler in question, a scarce wintering bird from Siberia, has been seen on and off at the Lakes for almost a month, and since I've had a little bit of a thing for small, bright green warblers ever since the experience of wading through Yellow-browed Warblers on Scilly back in October, it seemed only right to pay it a visit.
It's small size and its tendancy to associate with extremely active tit flocks in vegetation on the other side of the river, made the Pallas's very hard to pin down; never staying in one spot for more than a few seconds. Still, on the one occasion it did come out into the open during my visit, it showed just why its been drawing in the crowds. Look at that eye-stripe.. what a beauty!
P.S. You may have noted that the blog has undergone a radical make-over for 2013. Testing out a few new looks for it at the moment, so do let me know if you think it absolute rubbish... I'll try and hold back the tears.