Friday, 14 September 2012
After a frenetic August, Wanstead Flats is finally calming down. It has been as good as I have ever known it, and is surely one of the premier migrant stop-offs in London. I'm very lucky to have it on my doorstep. I've been out quite a bit recently, but don't really have anything to report. Our Meadow Pipits seem to have returned from their brief sojourn in the tall trees at the southern boundary of the Flats, and are now squeaking around the broom fields again. Perhaps there was a glut of some food source in those trees, a particularly succulent caterpillar hatch for example, because for a couple of weeks it was as if there had never been a Mipit on the Flats ever. I usually don't get down to the trees I'm talking about, and it was only when I was chasing a Pied Fly over there that I realised that's where all our Mipits were. I mean, I didn't count them all or anything, but I'm confident they're our ones. So, back to normal, albeit with a dearth of migrant activity in comparison to the last few weeks. I managed a Wheatear and a Whinchat in the week, but that was it. Bo-ring!
I'm going to Shetland soon, that's the big news around here. A week on the wonderful islands, hopefully with ticks galore, but with almost constant westerlies I'm wondering what they're going to be. Yanks I guess, as there's nothing from the east getting through. I can handle Yanks (unless they live in Regent's Park), but most of my wants are actually the Sibes. White's Thrush, Siberian Rubythroat, these are the sorts of birds that I'd really like to have drop in. We'll see, let's hope it isn't as hard work as last year, when hours of thrashing produced almost nothing. If the rare hunting fails though, at least I'll have a camera to take photos of sheep and rocks.