Saturday, 13 March 2010

One of those Days

I've just had one of those days where everything goes wrong - on the bird front at least. First off was that I elected to go round Wanstead Flats this morning instead of Rainham. Wanstead Flats netted me nothing of significance beyond another dead Crow, whilst Rainham hosted a Great White Egret. When H kindly phoned with the news, I hurried home, but the Egret departed high east roughly when I got to my front door, so I had some breaskfast instead.

I did eventually get to Rainham, but bar another (or the same) Glaucous Gull, it was fairly quiet. Or so I thought. I left mid-afternoon, and was nearing Barking when Howard called again. Penduline Tit in the reed mace near the Bus Stop, and a Little Ringed Plover from the MDZ. Piss, as they say. Paul and I had been outside the Centre having a bit of chat whilst some visitors were happily watching the Penduline about 150 metres away. Even I could have got there in under a minute. By the time it was reported, we, and it, were gone. Looking at the stationary traffic on the North Circular, I turned around and headed back to Rainham, only to get stuck in a different jam on the A13 going back the way I had just come. The Penduline Tit never returned, and the Little Ringed Plover couldn't be found, so in that sense the 45 minute traffic delay was irrelevant, but it did little to improve my mood. In fact I'd say the opposite was true....

Anyway, that was my day. Before I went to Rainham, I met up with the ITN people, and did what will no doubt be a highly entertaining and thought-provoking piece to camera about exactly how I came across the birds in a bucket. Prepare to be underwhelmed. On the plus side, I got to talk to Keith of the Epping Forest staff, so now I have some better bird numbers - better as in more accurate, and also lower, at only 79. I say only, but that is still an awful lot. The majority are Crows, and it is only one Greylag, not two. Whilst I was there I spotted another dead bird in the water, a Moorhen this time, and then commented to the others present that one of the Pigeons didn't look at all well. This proved to be correct, and within a few minutes it was flapping its last on the bank, whilst a group of male Pigeons thoughtfully mated with it as it lay there helpless. The film crew were there to capture it's final moments, and showed Keith with green gloves on picking it up. Actually seeing a Pigeon croaking is probably very pleasing to many Londoners, so they were clearly going for the popular vote. Top TV!

#77 The Larch Crow

#78, Moorhen


  1. I believe it's a 20p fine for Monty Python references on the internet

    *shakes collection tin*

    Missed your spot on TV because it clashed with the rugby. Now wishing I'd stayed at home and watched ITN.

  2. The rugby was indeed shite, although I can't remember the last time I've watched England/Scotland and genuinely not known who's going to win. The last 5 were pretty exciting, imo.

    The TV piece was pretty good, considering. Not a bad pun in sight, decent length, not sneery in tone towards birders, etc. Shame about the subject matter, really.

  3. Nice cap too.. maintaining an air of mystery?