A fairly early start this morning soon revealed that the weather was better and the birds worse. The only thing of note was this lone, displaying Blue-bill, it seems to have a damaged wing, maybe DEFRA can offer an explanation! On the Lockwood, not a single Wader today but an invisible Yellow Wagtail flew over calling, heading East.
I had a couple of interesting looking Terns fly North onto the Banbury, I scoped the reservoir and was able to identify obvious Common Terns at that range but felt I had better hold off from positively claiming the other two as Arctic.
Having met Lol over on the Lockwood we decided to go and have a look on Walthamstow marsh for the 3 Whinchats claimed there yesterday, after we had had a quick look on the East Warwick. It didn’t take long to see there was nothing doing on there so we jumped in the car and headed South, simultaneously our phones went off, it was Pete texting to say he had some Arctic Terns on the Banbury if we were interested. We were.
Three minutes later we were watching 4, possibly 6, Arctic Terns hawking around with a few of their commoner cousins. Very smart they were too. Kudos to Pete for picking them up and confirming them without a scope and for letting us know. Whilst up there he told us of his morning and that he had had a few singing Garden Warblers on Tottenham marsh, my ears pricked up when he said one of them was on the Wild marsh East, this is on the (my) patch, Tottenham marsh isn’t. We scooted over there and after a bit of a search turned one up, we also had a Pheasant call, the most reliable area on the patch for them.
Later in the afternoon I checked Walthamstow marsh for the Whinchats but didn’t find any. A Ring-necked Parakeet flew over the Ice-rink, they are slowly spreading across the Lea from Hackney, perhaps they don’t like crossing water, it seems to have held them back for years. I still enjoy seeing them, but I am sure I will feel differently about them in a few years time when we are beating them off with sticks. I have thrown in a photo of an Egyptian Goose I took the other day for no other reason than it is fairly good, by my standards, and it completes the set of introduced birds on the patch today.
Thinking about it I forgot Little Owl, Greylag Goose, Mute Swan, Canada Goose....is there anything natural on Walthamstow! Oh yes, the Arctic Terns and Garden Warbler.
It felt like a quiet morning but you can’t really complain about two patch year ticks.
After Pete's Hobbies on Monday, Garden Warbler is patch bird no.123 for the year (and 107 for me).
(On this date: 05 05 06 A Red Kite, in wing moult, flew in from the East and thermalled for a while, seen from the house at about 15:45. My first for the house and the patch, now annual)