Another few hours this morning on the patch seeing not a great deal. Snow still everywhere, and the ponds still don't know whether to freeze over or thaw. Shoulder of Mutton and the Basin have no clear water whatsoever, Jubilee and Alex are fast approaching that state, yet Heronry has more open water on it than at any time in the last week. Consequently it holds the bulk of the wildfowl, though as yet, nothing that I and the other local patch workers have had cause to go "ooh" and "aaah" about.
Oh, apart from the Black Duck that is. I'm pretty sure that's what it is. A teensy voice in my head is saying that American Black Duck shouldn't any white on the breast, and that it's actually a dodgy Mallard, but I reckon it's much more likely to be a genuine vagrant that's just had a bit of an accident with some fresh paint.
Our two semi-resident Egyptian Geese were also on Heronry, and what better way to keep warm than to get down to business? Honestly, poor Mrs Egyptian Goose. There she was, doing her best to keep out of the icy water, when suddenly Mr E G pushes her in, grabs her neck to pin her down, and then climbs on top of her and starts going for it. I don't think I'm giving anything away when I say that Mrs L wouldn't stand for it, but maybe geese are different? Didn't last for more than about ten seconds, but happily for the loving couple a photographer was on hand to capture the moment. I don't think Mrs L would stand for that either...
The park looks fantastic in the continuing snow, but it was actually pretty quiet on the bird front. The rest of London seems to be overflowing with Waxwings and grey geese. Crayford had not only Waxwings, but also White-fronts, Beans and Pink-feet this morning, Kev must have thought he had died and gone to heaven. Mark at Stoke Newington got some more White-fronts, as did the guys at Wormwood Scrubs, and even Des got some out of his window several storeys up in central London, but so far none of them have reached Wanstead, or at least not that we have detected. For me, the best birds of the day were a group of six Tufted Duck very distantly from one of the upstairs windows. This is only the third house record, and at the time I thought it was only the second so got very excited. Still, it trebles the number seen up to this point, so is still worthy of mention.
I wonder what tomorrow will bring?