Tuesday 30 July 2013

Local Mega!

Today something mega happened on Wanstead Flats. A rare wader on the newly refurbished Jubilee Pond? A stonkingly majestic raptor soaring over Long Wood? Nope, neither of these things, nor anything else bird-related. It was me. Moi. I. For the first time since perhaps May I went out birding on the Flats. The event passed unnoticed, without fanfare, the only reaction from a local drunk on Fairground Flats who may have grunted and then passed out.

My immediate thoughts were how overgrown it was, how my once well-trodden pathways and circuits were virtually lost in places. I know the place like the back of my hand - better perhaps - so I passed through despite the green profusion. Shows how long I have been absent though. Jub was my first destination, and came as no surprise that the new wooden pier thing has already been set fire to - a nice burnt patch replete with empty cans. What did they expect to happen? It remains bird free, sterile, with barely any vegetation. I don't hold out much hope for waders, there is nothing to eat. Longer term I am sure it will equalise, and attract life once again, but for now it's barren and its prospects bleak - this should ensure Dan finds something good on it by the weekend.

Instead I made my way over to the Alex, which by contrast is a sea of green - the hot weather and pitta bread migration has once again caused a fabulous algal growth that all but covers the entire surface. There were birds though, plenty, including my first Common Sand of the year that peeped it's way around the corner and out of sight. It hadn't gone far, only towards the large grate bit, but was almost immediately put up by a small black dog, towering round and round over the pond, higher and higher, before heading off north, perhaps towards the calmer south shores of Heronry. With little else doing I called it a day by half six, and so entered the mines rather earlier than normal.

My last three visits to the patch have netted three patch year ticks. And one of them doesn't even count as a visit really, I was merely walking down the road when two Crossbills flew over about a fortnight ago. There seem to be a few Wood Sands about, and Whimbrel too, so all we need is for some unsettled weather of the sort we had last week and I could be quids in. My patch year record is 113, and I'm currently on 106. I'm missing three resident birds, a couple of annual Gulls, as well as Spotted and Pied Flycatchers, and Tree Pipit, the former of which is easily annual, and the latter two reasonably likely.

The hunt is on again!

One of these wouldn't go amiss.

1 comment:

  1. I like to think the local drunk on Fairground Flats is secretly keeping a list of Wanstead birders and your appearance was his tick of the month.