Wednesday 18 September 2013

Wednesday hiatus

It's all Dan's fault. He has ruined this whole blogging at the weekend and then lining them up for the weekend by going and finding a Red-crested Pochard mid-week. I had imagined that, as per recent weeks, my birding life during the working week would be so contemptuously pathetic that there would be nothing to say, but in fact on the one week where I'd bet on that being the case (again), I've in fact broken my Wanstead Year-listing record. So I suppose I'm not that cross with Dan really.....

Admittedly, it's a slight dodgy bird to go eclipsing (ha ha!) my total with, but per London listing rules, provided that this species is seen away from certain locations in the centre of town it's fair game. Certainly when I found a pair about four years ago, also on Heronry, I counted them straight away. Nick didn't see those, even though they remained for a month, so this is that rare event for him, a grip back, and those of us who saw the pair in 2009 are of course all very pleased for him. Dan found it at exactly the right time of day, that is to say before I had to go to work, and with enough time on the clock that I could get there, scope it up, and get home again. Ideal, so thank you very much.

It would be remiss of me not to talk about stats, as I know you all love them. So, in 2011 I saw 113 species. In 2012 I also saw 113 species. The penultimate of these came at the end of October, so I had high hopes of smashing through the barrier, but I didn't get a sniff until Waxwings landed in mid-December and that was it. If you're still interested, you can go and have a look at these year-listing efforts on that banner that sits just below my Tropicbird tail above this post. So this year when I got to 113 on the remarkably early date of September 7th, I knew that Dan I was going to finally raise the bar and scale new heights. Yes, 114 is the new total to beat. And as I've said before, there are still quite a few possibilities. RCP was never in contention, so a real bonus bird. If I can ever drag myself over to the Old Sewage Works I should get Bullfinch, and when the winter autumn finch migration kicks in I should get Brambling. In cold snaps pretty much anything can happen, so Goosander, Smew and various other winter goodies could arrive, and there is still no sign of a Med or YL Gull.

All these are for another day though. For now I can just bask in the thought of a job well done, a target made. You have to love patching.

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