After a dire Saturday in Wanstead I abandoned the patch on Sunday and went somewhere I might actually see some birds. I had a lot to do so didn’t go too far – popped my head in at Rainham to see H briefly, and then headed to Vange to see if the Black-winged Stilts were still there. Two pairs had been reported the previous day at the site, I was keen to see if I could double my previous total of two birds from the same site last year. I couldn’t as it happens, only one pair were present, but they showed very well even just through bins. A shame I hadn’t brought my scope as the views would have been superb, but I was travelling extremely light - it was a beautiful day and I simply hadn’t been bothered to take anything other than the bare minimum. Binoculars and flip-flops helped me stand out in a sea of camo. Not sure where the other pair went, but there is lots of eminently suitable habitat in this area of Essex (and Kent), so perhaps these colonists were not that far away.
I hadn’t brought my camera either so I have no photos of the birds, but one of the things about birding is that it takes you to the nicest places and you can often get nice landscape shots with just a phone that enable others to get a feel for an area. Vange for example is quite outstanding, you can see why these rare waders were drawn back here again this year. It was good to be somewhere different, somewhere a lot nicer than the devastation of Wanstead Flats frankly, and whilst there are many fine vistas the following two are my favourite.
Afterwards I went to Aldi in Pitsea to complete the experience. It didn’t disappoint.