Sunday 18 April 2010

More not Year-listing

I think may have mentioned in a past post that I was not year-listing this year. This is still the case, but I think I also mentioned that despite not zooming around the country, I wasn't all that far behind my total last year, and that I would undoubtedly get to 200 species before the end of April. Stop me if I'm boring you...

Well, that day has come, and is a mere eight days later than in 2009. What does this signify, other that I am very bad at not year-listing? Not much really. I think it's best summed up as "If you go out birding a lot, you'll see a lot of birds". As you know, I don't go out birding very much being so busy creating the perfect home, so the fact that I have seen 200 species this year is nothing less than remarkable. The milestone bird this year was Yellow Wagtail, followed shortly afterwards by Whimbrel, which was the 200th bird last year. Listing's great sometimes. You get to marvel at inconsequential trivialities, and ideally share them with your spouse too. I did. Apparently I am very boring, and a geek. Very unkind.

So, a quick summary of the weekends activities: Grasshopper Warbler found by Dave Callahan on the silts at Rainham was rather nice, although his Cuckoo chose not to stick around. Lesser Whitethroat in the Woodland area was the next one before I had to leave for Hilbs' Stag do. They had Doom Bar on tap, which was excellent in many ways, and less excellent in others. Amazingly I was up and about bright and early this morning, and so went to Fisher's Green for Nightingale. This, along with a Cuckoo, was very obliging in the heard-only sense of obliging, and Bradders and I followed this up with a single Common Tern on a bird-free KGV Reservoir. Meanwhile Stuart found a male Ring Ouzel on Wanstead Flats, which we later attempted to twitch, however 25,000 dog-walkers and footballers made this impossible. Retreating from Wanstead we headed to Rainham for cake, and then scanned the skies for no large raptors. We joined Paul on the Serin Mound for a spot of Yellow Wagtail, and then had a couple of Whimbrel on the Reserve. Mainly we just soaked up the sunshine though. And cake. Back in Wanstead I went looking for the Ring Ouzel, last seen in the vicinity of Long Wood, but only found lots of men pretending not to be hanging around looking shifty. Yes, long warm evenings are back, and it wasn't even Wednesday. Maybe there has been a change of schedule I don't know about? I'll let you know.

So, there you go, you're up to date. Seven year-ticks for those of you counting, and none of them in Wanstead. Woeful.

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