11 MARCH 2018 — On 11th March 2018, Brent Reservoir had a visit from a Spoonbill — a vagrant waterbird classified locally as “very rare”.
The bird had first been spotted flying up the Thames soon after dawn. It then spent the morning at the London Wetland Centre, but at noon was seen flying off in the direction of Brent Reservoir.
The bird was first reported at Brent Reservoir at 12:43, after which it loitered for much of the afternoon in East Marsh. It was sometimes out of sight from the hides but visible distantly from the north bank viewing platform. The bird later roosted in North Marsh for a while before returning to East Marsh. It eventually flew off in a south-westerly direction shortly before sunset. A Spoonbill seen at Rainham Marshes on the following day may well have been the same bird,
This latest Brent Reservoir Spoonbill was the first since 16th May 2009, when an adult bird was found roosting near the Heron Hide at 09:00 and then spent some time feeding between the two WHCG hides before flying off at 14.35.
There are only three earlier records of Spoonbill at Brent Reservoir. The first record relates to two birds shot in 1865. No Spoonbill was then recorded until late in the 20th century, when single birds were reported flying through the site in 1993 and 1997. This year’s bird — like its 2009 predecessor — did at least manage to hang around long enough for a few birders and twitchers to catch up with it.