Hurrah, it's January the 1st again and everything is exciting! You will have to excuse this fit of enthusiasm, it won't last, but after hearing the obligatory Robin in the dark, I nipped over to Alexandra Lake in light rain. Nothing deters me! Especially not warm duvets. Nor indeed large hangovers is seems. Well....to cut a long story short the long-staying Yellow-browed Warbler was still present and correct, and gave a few calls just before eight, and then I was able to trip around the patch with gay abandon, ticking everything in sight.
With five miles under the belt I was home by 10 but missing quite a few easy species, most of which are found in the Park. Now I bird Wanstead Park on average once a year, so why not today? After refuelling I booted up again, and this time with Henry in tow I set off once again. Coal Tit fell easily in Reservoir Wood, a Water Rail showed nicely on Shoulder Of Mutton Pond, and Heronry had an amazing five Little Egrets and a Kingfisher zipping past. Great Crested Grebe on Perch, it's Little cousin on the Roding, and Green Woodpecker in the OSW left me on 54 for the year. Not astoundingly awful, but not really prize-winning either.
So, back to Wanstead Flats where I finally got a Herring Gull and met Marco, the first birder I had seen. Laggards. Henry jogged around various football pitches to burn off excess energy, and I returned all the way to Cat and Dog Pond to collect at Meadow Pipit that had been absent the first time around. Then I went to the tree that Stock Doves live in and saw a Stock Dove. Under darkening skies and now with 11 miles walked and a more pronounced limp than when I had started, we headed for home. We had not been sat down for more than five minutes before the rain started in earnest - good timing
Notable misses included Mistle Thrush, Fieldfare, Sparrowhawk and Skylark, but there is plenty of time. Anyway, profound excuses for the unexpected content. I am off to Madeira shortly so normal service will resume. Anyhow, the list is here and so you can follow my faltering progress throughout the year. The weather looks a lot nicer for tomorrow so expect some camera. The Stonechat at Cat & Dog seems to be friendly....