Sunday 29 November 2020

Still slow

Still pretty slow in Wanstead but locally there are signs of movement. Skuas, Divers, Geese and wild Swans have been on the move around the edges of London, and there have been reports of lots of wildfowl along the coast. Nothing here of course, but it is good to hear of things happening that are not quite in range. It gives you hope. Today for instance I spent an hour out on my balcony when I heard that four Bewick's Swans had flow from north-east from the Wetland Centre in Barnes mid-morning. They never arrived but that direction would have seen them bisect Walthamstow, and who knows, a slight deviation east.... I did wonder if it was a complete waste of time even trying, but then I remembered the Cranes. Miracles can happen, just not every time, and not today. You have to be in it to win it. 

Saturday was very foggy here, and it didn't clear until lunchtime. I've had some good birds in the fog before, birds that would not normally drop in here but that had presumably become disoriented. I gave it a try as there is always a slight possibility of getting something in the dank conditions, but nothing materialised and the ponds of Wanstead Park remained empty. Well. not empty, but containing all the same birds that they did earlier in the week. Literally the same - the same single Greylag on Heronry, the same six Tufted Ducks on Perch, the same Great Crested Grebe on Shoulder of Mutton. And the same Moorhen on the Basin.....

Once upon a time the Basin was the go-to pond in the kind of conditions that might drop something in. Goosanders, Wigeon and so on. I used to check it frequently, usually on the school run. Although I don't have to do that any more I do sometimes pop up there for a look, but I can't remember the last time I found anything on there. It is very nearly devoid of bird life, not sure what has changed. Maybe it simply isn't cold enough at the moment.

Happier times

It is beginning to feel a little colder though. This morning I went for a walk at Fairlop Water, as I had an errand to run nearby. I didn't get too far around the main lake before I felt the need for the gloves that I didn't have. Next week is December I suppose, so it should be feeling a bit more wintery. I don't mind that, in fact I need that as unless we do get a cold snap my chances of any more patch year ticks are nil.32 days to go!


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