As ever I was poorly placed for the latest amazing bird to hit Wanstead Flats - Venice. Strolling around Accademia at dusk on Wednesday I was amazed to see a message from back home telling me that Nick had found a Rustic Bunting on the patch. Wow, just wow! He just gets better and better, I do have to be abroad though.... Happily for me it had the good grace to stick around until I could get to it, and indeed as I type is still here - about 20 minutes ago I watched it go to roost in the enclosure. It is a remarkably tolerant bird, but trying to get a photo of it during the twitch (I estimate several hundred have been to see it over the four days it has so far been here) has been a hiding to nothing. I've never really experienced a big twitch on the patch before and I think I can now understand why people on whose patches this occurs frequently might get a little jaded. What this means is that early mornings and late evenings work a lot better, when I can creep up on it without people assuming I am too close, and without the whole 'wacky races' thing going on.
It is only my second Rustic Bunting ever after a bird two years ago on Shetland, and the views have been amazing. It took me up to 152 birds for the patch, but now I am on 153......this morning before I'd even found the Bunting again Tony though he had a very slight glimpse of a possible SEO being pursued low through Long Wood. He, James and I set off towards Centre Road to have a look at what the Crows were so upset about, and we were stunned all over again when instead a Barn Owl flew out of the wood. Barn Owl! I mean wow, just wow! I've had two patch ticks in three days and neither of them were birds I thought remotely likely. I could have listed 20 birds and these would not have been on the list. Waders, ducks, egrets, but not these. It's the first Barn Owl on the patch for a quarter of a century, and Bob, James and Nick all saw it too - for Nick this is truly karma. He was poorly placed this morning when we called him - not Venice mind you - and we thought it had gone but he managed to jam it as soon as he arrive right at the south end. This also enabled James to finally connect - somehow he had missed it in the mist when Tony and I shouted out, and I was feeling a bit bad that he hadn't seen it when he had been so close.
No pics, but Bob has managed some great ones here. Instead here are some pics of the Rustic Bunting, a bird I've seen as many of as Barn Owls on the patch...
Just amazing pics Jono - what a crazy few days it has been!ReplyDelete
Cheers James, the patch is indeed amazing. Glad all those of us out today got the owl!Delete
Great images images Jono.ReplyDelete
I can imagine the astonished delight provoked by the discovery of this little beaut. Your photos are terrific and do it proud. It's ages since I saw a Rustic Bunting, but these pics evoke the memory of my first, on Scilly in 1984, and my surprise at witnessing that little tuft of crown feathers standing erect like that. Brilliant!ReplyDelete
cheers Gav, an army of twitchers descended but on balance it was worth it - what a London record!Delete