Tuesday 16 March 2010

Where is my Wheatear?

Late, that's what. Another fruitless hour on the Flats this morning, enlivened by the sight of Cocker Spaniel puppy chasing Skylarks through the rough grass. Excellent. I took the owner to task - I have a prepared speech these days. Hopefully he got the point, and as a bonus, I didn't get stabbed. More signs are needed, as he genuinely didn't have any idea.

Another dead bird at Alexandra Lake, some three days after the last one, is fairly worrying. A Coot this time, died with its eyes open. I find it difficult to become emotional over a Coot I have to admit, but it did make me spend a lot more time looking at them today that I would normally. They are so demure, socially tolerant and easy-going. Softly softly, friendly, passive and calm.

Suitably soothed after watching the Coots go about their business, I turned my attention to the other denizens of the Heronry Pond. A Mute Swan looked very pretty, and then to get my attention started doing it's best Coot impression. A Canada Goose played the part of the other Coot.

I sat in the sunshine with Pudding for about two hours, simply watching the few birds in front of me being affectionate. We were warm, and happy. And from behind the Tea Hut of Happiness, a Chiffchaff sang, my first of the year. Spring has started. Somebody tell the Wheatears!

"Could you drop a line my way?"


  1. 2 men arrested on suspicion of poisoning the birds at Wanstead:

  2. Ashley, many thanks for posting that link. Good news. I thought it would be impossible to catch whoever is responsible, but they must have their ways.

  3. I hope there is a little more revealed about their motivation. Ugh, well, good riddance.

    Jonathan, I didn't realize how much you were all over the news along with the birds. Too bad it wasn't for, say, the first Wheatear sighting of the year. (I hear it is much anticipated.)


  4. Ridiculous isn't it. Two TV interviews, the online news, my photos of dead birds splashed across screens. And why? Because I'm mad enough to get up at 5:30am and hit Wanstead Flats for non-existent Wheatears, thereby finding the corpses before anyone else did. Another casualty found this morning at 6am, and still no Wheatears!! Let's see what tomorrow brings.