A short interlude while I gather my thoughts for the next installment of my travel adventures - this will be a summary of a short trip to New England in May. Lots of birds, lots of ticks, and also lots of Ticks, quite a few of them burrowing into me. Yuck, but I didn't catch anything nasty thankfully. I think if you find them and pull them off within a day you will generally get away with it.
But for now I'll give readers a break and return to all the birds I've seen in Wanstead.
Right, so that's that then. I jest, it hasn't been that bad. Well, maybe it has but I've still enjoyed myself. As you can see from my annual patch list I've not added to my total since the Woodcock over a month ago, but I have been out quite a lot, mostly in the hour of daylight currently available before I have to go to work. There was the Woodpigeon extravaganza in early November but there has otherwise been little to put in the diary so to speak. Fieldfare and Redwing seem to have passed over. The latter I now seem to see only rarely on the patch but Fieldfare is a daily occurence at the moment with small groups flying between the copses. My guess is that these should now be classified as local birds and that they'll be here for the duration. Woodcock is being seen regularly in specific places, so perhaps my bird towards the end of October decided to stay? Regardless it is clear that we have at least one resident bird now and that it will be here all winter. There seems to have been a small build-up of Redpoll, quite faithful to the SSSI birches, but I think we are all waiting for a cold snap. Just one person has recorded Snipe (which I still need for the year) but other than this there has been no real change in the birds we are seeing. On the mornings I go out I am just seeing the same birds over and over, and whilst I appreciate the fresh air and getting a few steps in I do require a bit of variety. This perhaps explains why I've run away to Kent, Essex and Norfolk recently. If we saw a bit of change then I'd likely stay here.
In other news here is what's left of our Skylark fence from a few weeks ago. It is increasingly vandalised, a complete eye sore, and for this I actually think a fair portion of blame should fall on the Corporation of London. The signs (genally also vandalised, snapped in two mostly) say that it is for the summer period, and by not immediately taking it down and making the area available to the public once the Skylark breeding season is over they will just alienate the people they really need to get on side. Leaving it in place for months afterwards is very poor decision making and one is tempted to say that they reap what they sow. Of course a large part of the blame also lies with the ignorant and highly twattish dog owner with a pair of shears who has systematically walked around the perimiter slashing it to bits under the cover of darkness in an act of juvenile spite, but I think you get my drift. The shredded plastic was finally removed by the Corporation about three days ago.