Queen Mother Reservoir in the east of the County is the largest area of open water in Berkshire. With several other smaller stretches of water nearby, it attracts a wide range of water birds and waders, rarely seen elsewhere in Berkshire. A walk around the rim of the reservoir in migration periods will often provide passage waders and passerines scarce elsewhere in Berkshire and seabirds, including tubenoses cand skuas are sometimes found after storms. Rare visitors this century include Lesser Scaup, Roseate Tern, Sabines Gull, Grey-headed Wagtail and two Buff-bellied Pipits in December 2012.
Access: Thames Water offers access to Queen Mother Reservoir for bird-watching through the Berkshire Ornithological Club under the conditions of a Thames Water Operational Safety Authorisation and licence issued to the Club. Access is permitted from dawn to one hour after sunset, seven days a week. Under the licence the BOC may only issue permits to members, who must agree to abide by a number of conditions, which are explained in the QMR information sheet. Members wanting a permit should complete and sign the QMR permit application and bring it, together with a photo ID and separate proof of address to a BOC indoor meeting or send them to the Membership Secretary (address on form). We will then issue the permits and combination code. There is no charge for the permit.
Grey-headed Wagtail, 30 May 2009, Mike McKee