Tactical error on my part yesterday. Mrs L was working from home, and she caught me asleep in the sunshine on the terrace. I couldn't really pretend I was doing anything else. I had been sky-watching, and just dozed off. Usually when she works from home, I am busy as a bee, literally vacuuming under her feet. But yesterday I blew it. Whereas before she thought of me as a domestic whirlwind, a veritable cleaning machine / child entertainer, I think she may now have seen through the facade.
Anyway, this morning I was trying to make up for this abject failure, and had already done a load of washing and was hanging it up when the phone went. "I've got a small wader", said Nick. "It might be a Dunlin, I'm trying to get closer." MEGA ALERT!!!!!!!!!! We went into overdrive, the washing was abandoned in the basket. The girls and I were out of the house in about a minute and a half, and were at the Jubilee Pond within about four minutes. We drove - I know, pathetic. I leapt out of the car and calmly walked over to where he was standing. He had indeed managed to get a bit closer, as there was the Dunlin probing the mud about ten feet away.
Mega. My list of Wanstead waders is Snipe, Lapwing, Woodcock and Wood Sandpiper (!). That was pretty mega now I come to think about it, but it didn't stick around, and anyway I didn't have my camera. I didn't have my camera for the Dunlin either, so I left Nick to talk to the local drunk and nipped home to get it. The Dunlin was still there when I got back, though the drunk had departed - the other way around and I'd have been annoyed. Enjoy!
So this latest addition to my patch list is most welcome and most unexpected. It turns upsidedown my notions of what can be found where and when. I usually check the ponds first thing, and even then I sometimes don't beat the dog-walkers. If I'm out later than first light, I just don't bother. But this Dunlin was found at half ten in the morning, there were people and dogs everywhere. It was largely unafraid of them. A Rottweiler walked within about three feet and it flew ten. The drunk walked past it and it barely moved. So this gives me hope, but also means I have to walk all the way to Alex in future, just in case. Bother.