Wednesday 1 December 2010

In which I attempt to turn my child into a popsicle

My God it's cold. I didn't realise quite how cold it actually was, and decided it would be a good idea to go and look at Heronry Pond with Pudding. Parenting fail. I have since learned that the maximum temperature in Wanstead today was -1C, and that the wind made it feel more like -8C. I had only counted up to 46 Pochard when a small pillar of ice told me that she had had enough. One look at her convinced me that she had indeed had enough, so we hurried home, and, bar the school run, didn't attempt anything as silly again for the rest of the day.

This is a bit of a shame, as these conditions have seen some absolute corkers turning up in London today. There have been between three and five Pomarine Skuas, first Andy and co had three up the river past Rainham, and possibly two of them were seen later on over Hampstead Heath. Johnny and Dodge at Beddington had 14 Bean Geese early on, which were then picked up over Rainham a bit later. Sticking with Rainham, a juvenile Iceland Gull was seen, and H had two Waxwings were briefly in the carpark. The hard-working window-gazers magazine publishers at the Birdwatch offices picked up some Waxwings in addition to their flock of Pintail from yesterday. Meanwhile at the Wetland Centre a flock of Eider was reported, and Des picked up a Goosander in Hyde Park. Steve B found some more of these were at Fairlop with a Red-breasted Merganser. Sorry if this sounds like a Birdline South-east round-up, but all of these are fairly impressive birds in London and deserve a mention, as do the hardy birders that found them. Meanwhile in Wanstead I contributed a Lapwing. This is an excellent bird for Wanstead, but hardly the stuff of legend.

  It was standing on the edge of the ice on the Basin, which I had stopped briefly to look at on the way back from the park. Smew is what I really wanted, but I must confess to being fairly appreciative of the Lapwing, my first on the deck in the Park. I don't keep an "on the deck in the Park" list by the way, but I know that it is the first. I'm that kind of well-rounded individual.

We'll see what tomorrow brings, but there could be some judicious long-range scoping of reservoirs from high vantage points (with parking) where Pudding can stay in the nice warm car. Ditto Aveley Bay, where with any luck that Pom Skua will still be hanging around. I'll keep you posted.

In other news, you know I posted about multi-author blogging the other day? Well in a complete coincidence - no really - I received an invite to participate in one only a few days later. Looking at the other authors, I can't help thinking that this is some kind of email cock-up, but I said yes very quickly before the error was spotted, and now have a password and everything. So, another opportunity for me to fill more of the web with drivel, which I hope to be doing soon. The concept is relatively simple: thought-provoking topics mulled over by about thirteen different people, none of whom know each other - or at least I don't know any of them - and all of whom may have different opinions. And, it goes without saying, different skill levels. Very different skill levels.....We're allowed to disagree with each other and everything, and using pseudonyms, bitch like hell and generally cause an online riot discuss things in a mature and sensible manner. I think that's the general idea. Hopefully these discussions will appeal to a wide readership of online birders, and if they too want to comment, then fine, though snide posts from anonymous scallywags will get the treatment. It's called The Crow Council, which makes me a Crow I guess. It will be excellent, so bookmark it now. I wonder if I can make a special video......

1 comment:

  1. That's it, I'm off to Wanstead tomorrow. I'll find something spectacular!