Monday, 17 September 2012
When Derek Coleman embarked on a Grey Heron count at Beddington Sewage Farm this evening he didn't expect to be extracting a juvenile Gannet out of the seventy odd herons strewn across the lakes. Johnny Allan was his usual efficient self and got the information out via text and twitter - this was one species that I couldn't miss as it is a local rarity, what with Surrey being land-locked and the nearest bit of 'coast' being the tidal Thames some way away. I hadn't been to the sewage farm for a few months so my arrival induced a fair bit of good-humoured ribbing. The bird was still present, and stayed until dusk, no doubt to be found at first light if anybody couldn't get there on time this evening. However, it was quite listless and I only hope that it is not found in a dead heap tomorrow. There have been at least six records of Gannet at Beddington, not bad for a land-locked site which is not a reservoir. The rarity-starved regulars are hoping that this bird, plus the London skuas seen today, will bless them with another seabird tomorrow. With all the effort that they put in, they deserve it.