The last couple of years have seen me bash Wanstead from morning til night, but this year was a little different as I went to Rainham for a bit of a change. Returning just before dusk I scraped another five species onto my patch list to add to the omnipresent insomniac Robin. The next day I had to go to work, and even though it's basically still dark during my morning commute by slowing my pace through Bush Wood I added eight to take me to 14. The next day I had an early meeting and added nothing at all, but the day after that I worked from home. I know what you're thinking - worked from home in inverted commas and hey guess what, the patch list is now 60? Sadly not, a few glances out of the window added another five birds, and the following day a slightly different route to work added a few more to take me to the dizzy heights of 32.
So it wasn't really until today that things got going properly and I was able to give the patch a decent look. I met Tony near Centre Road car park where I'd just located the wintering Stonechat, and together we meandered through the SSSI where we added Smallish Buffy Brown Redpoll, and Sparrowhawk, and then a blitz of Bush Wood added Firecrest, Coal Tit and Nuthatch in quick succession. Tony was particularly pleased with the Firecrest having not managed one in the previous 370 days....
Through the Park did not really add a great deal barring the highly prized and elusive Chaffinch, but it still felt exciting because I'd essentially had that New Year's Day feeling all over again. I finished the day on 54, and I anticipate that tomorrow will be the same again as there is still so much to try and find - my highest January total is 71, so there is still a lot to play for. The best bird today was probably Little Owl, the resident pair were unexpectedly out in the open in East Copse and this generated a mini-twitch. No camera today, but with the light potentially looking nice tomorrow I think I'll take it for a little spin and see what I can get.
Happy New Year!
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