That said, I do love this time of year. The mornings are crisp, the days warming, promise (unfulfilled) hangs heavy in the air. Eyes to the sky, eyes to the ground. Where to look? Today it was all about the sky. It had been a slow morning, with only two Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers, and I was on the point of heading back home when Nick picked up a large raptor coming in from the south. Initially the thought was Buzzard, but once bins were raised it was apparent that Wanstead's second Red Kite in a fortnight was cruising slowly north. I quickly alerted Tim, guiding a spring migrant (as if) walk in the Park. Whilst he sought a vantage point with his group, it veered east over the City of London Cemetery, so another call to advise of the change of course, and he picked it up whilst still on the phone. It ended up flying right over the top of them near the Old Sewage Works, so some lucky punters.
Feeding the birds, Wanstead Style. You have no idea how much this annoys me.
Flushed by this success, we went in search of Wheatears that might have dropped in now that the weather had improved. Nada. A quick stop chez moi for refreshments, and then on to the SSSI with thoughts of Buzzard. Amazingly, within about a quarter of an hour I picked up two thermalling very high, drifting gradually west. I love it when a plan comes together, as someone once said. The big sky day was rounded off perfectly with one of the incredibly irritating model aircraft that buzz like incessant aeriel lawnmowers over the Flats at weekends suddenly losing power and plummeting to the ground near Long Wood. A tragedy.
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