Saturday 17 January 2015

Mopping up

Hit the patch again this morning with a long list of targets including House Sparrow and Greenfinch. Both were pleasingly easy on the Flats, though Tony did have to take me to where the Greenfinches were. Seven Skylark were on the Police Scrape along with 25 or so Linnet. Meandering over to the Alex two Teal slipped away from the side at our approach, early mid January really is a pleasing time of year on the patch. 

With football nigh, we left the Flats and walked the short distance to the Park. First stop on the agenda was Heronry, but we couldn't find the Slavonian Grebe on the south side. Leaving Tony to head home, I retraced my steps around the northern edge to that I could get a better view, and who should I see but Shaun, crouched by the side in a camo hat, with a small black and white bird swimming around in front of him! I joined him for a frustrating but ultimately enjoyable session, including a coffee break mid-way, but the bird is becoming a lot harder to approach. The best tactic is to lie down and wait, and in doing so a Robin landed about a foot from us, a Kingfisher stopped by, and Redwings seeped overhead. As the sun worked its magic and the thin covering of ice receded, the Grebe began to spend more time in the middle and over towards the island, so we decided it was all over for the day. Shaun went to Rainham, and I continued on to the Dell, where in quick succession I nailed Grey Wagtail and Siskin. Not many easy pickings left now, and I find myself on 62, missing stuff like Peregrine and Water Rail, but also Fieldfare, which seem in very short supply this year.

Here's a few more shots from this morning, including some completely unnecessary ones of the Grebe.

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