Saturday 19 December 2009

Played for and got!

Back in reality today, and a double-tick day involving the same species. The day started crisp and cold so I went out on my daily mission to the Wanstead Park to see if I could find any displaced ducks. I couldn't, but as I was looking up at some Goldfinches feeding near the Perch Pond, a Lapwing flew over, followed by three more. Tick! As usual when faced with an excess of excitement, my brain ceased functioning and by the time it started again the Lapwings were dots in the viewfinder. Nonetheless, the euphoria was palpable. No dreaming this time, this was a real bird, and one of my top targets for Wanstead. Messages were duly sent out, and even a phone call from Bradders saying he had seen a Rough-legged Buzzard and thus overtaken me in the year-listing stakes failed to dampen my mood. Patch ticks are that good.

I started stalking a Green Woodpecker on the Plain, and in doing so flushed a Snipe, my first for the Park. Shortly after that another eight Lapwings flew over, heading north-north-west just like the last ones. This time I did manage to swing the camera upwards, and whilst not a prize-winning effort, it does at least show a Lapwing. Six Lapwings actually. The thought then ocurred to the suppressed lister within me that perhaps this cold weather movement that was obviously taking place could see me get Lapwing from the garden as well, so sensible and rational person that I am, I hurried home. It took an hour, but sure enough, I got a single bird flying south-south-east. I believe I raised my arms in a skyward salute and went "Yes!" quite loudly. So, played for and got, and #60 for the garden.

Other winter stuff today included sixteen Fieldfare NW from the Park, and about 25 Redwings west over the garden, but stuff that, it is all about the Lapwings. Oh yes, and I discovered a species new to science, Arboreal Rail, thus rounding off a great day.

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