Not that it made a massive amount of difference to the birding, but I was rewarded with a smattering of new-in Phylloscs, and no fewer than five Lesser Whitethroats. Bird of the morning went to a patch tick though, as you might expect. Both Stuart and Nick had recently been lucky enough to see a Yellow-legged Gull hanging about with the Herrings and Lessers. I grasped the dog-free morning with both hands, and went to see if I could repeat the feat. I could! T'was tough though, the gulls are very wary, and a close approach is hard. It would have been a piece of cake with the scope, but I never carry that so I had to rely on stealth. Leg colour in bad light is incredibly difficult to discern, but I managed to pick it based on comparison with Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Herring Gulls that it was feeding with. The mantle on my chosen bird was also slightly darker grey but I wanted to be absolutely sure on the leg colour so started hiding behind trees and that sort of thing, hoping to get a bit closer, or that the bird would approach me. By about 6:15 I was satisfied beyond doubt, so I went off to bash some bushes with the results already described. My 116th bird in Wanstead, and 99th for the year. I'm in touching distance of the target.
I was bouncing around at home, full of the joys of
I didn't take a camera on either trip. I figured this wouldn't be a problem as I still have a whole pile of wader pics from the weekend to use up.
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