Today I added a flyover Linnet, which takes me to the dizzy heights of 58. Where will it end?! The reason I didn't add anything else is that a) I am not too concerned by the current lack of Greenfinch, I am pretty sure I will get one and b) because I was too busy satisfying my creative urges. In marked contrast to yesterday, today was a glorious day. Clear, cold and crisp, I positively catapulted out of bed this morning in order to partake in it - my vague plan seems to be working as I really enjoyed it.
The first photograph I took was this. Nothing miraculous about it, but I just like the colours and the light was great. You wouldn't even think it was in Wanstead, more Colorado or some such place. No doubt the Corporation will cut it down soon - their management plan is somewhat one-dimensional. Raze.
Then I spent a bit of time mucking about at Jubilee Pond. Now as I explained last year, Jubilee Pond and its environs are rather grim. The omni-present alcoholic detritus has now been joined by a huge dead fish. However despite the obvious signs of despair, in terms of birds per square inch Jubilee probably places higher than any other place on the patch - it positively teems with life. Life looking for free handouts. This kind of life...
Yuck. As well as upwards of a trillion gulls, there are also several hundred thousand Canada Geese and possibly the same number of Coot. There is plenty on offer for them to fight over, and even with nothing to squabble over it all tends to kick off regardless. Here is a Coot heading quickly after another Coot. I have no idea what it had done, the basic problem was that it was there and it was another Coot. This means war.
As I am a proper birder I also recorded a ringed Black-headed Gull "2LBA", left leg, black on yellow. In due course I will tell you its life story, including the 24 miles it has travelled from Pitsea. I have a photo of course, but this post already has one too many Gull photos in it. So what would be better than a Gull? Well, anything obviously, but this being my blog I reckon a Chat is what it needs.
Abandoning the morass I crossed the road to Cat & Dog Pond, where we have a wintering Stonechat. I met Tony, recovered from his hangover of the previous day and contentedly ticking off birds just as I had done the day before, and it wasn't long before I had the bird in my sights. Tony pottered off in the direction of Mipit squeaks and I started the stalk. I did not need to try very hard, when I had seen it yesterday I had felt it looked quite keen to have its photo taken and I'm pleased to say I was right. I followed it around for a bit and every now and then it popped on something minimal with a decent background and so I took a photo. I'm putting it out there as a putative Stejneger's as it appears nobody has a clue what they actually look like. Don't be put off by the warm tones, I'm sure it's fine.