Tuesday 11 May 2010

Starling Stake-out

The patch is beginning to get me down. It's May, and I can't find anything. Meanwhile my co-patch-workers have turned up a Reed Warbler, a Cuckoo, several Turtle Doves, a Red Kite, and a Common Tern. My best find of late has been a Pigeon. Or perhaps a Canada Goose, not sure which is better. So I'm in a bit of a strop. All patch-workers go through phases like this I suppose, when things don't go so well, and I know it'll get better, but I'm a bit frustrated as I've been working it quite hard (apart from when I've been in Norfolk or Kent).

This morning was no different. It was cold, but relatively clear, and whilst Whitethroat were abundant, I couldn't turn up anything else. After a 6am start it's not really what you want. What I'd really like is some sea to watch, but unless something spectacular happens in Wanstead, I'm a bit stuffed. Actually if Wanstead becomes a sea-watching location, we're all a bit stuffed.

After about 90 minutes of nothing, and feeling genuinely cold in mid-May, I gave up on finding rare migrants and reverted to plan B, which was to see how the Starlings are getting along. Fine is the answer, and I spent a happy twenty minutes watching the adults come and go. They were mostly feeding in the long grass, and had no trouble at all in finding tasty morsels for the hungry chick. I don't know how many are in there, but I only ever saw one poke its head out. Mum (or Dad, in the world I inhabit) did poke her head in though, presumably to ensure fair distribution. Patch-working -the excitement never ends.

"Mum! I think I've been sick!"

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