Friday, 28 May 2010

Payback

It was fairly quiet over the reservoirs today, possibly to be expected at the end of May. But with yesterday’s crop of Red-footed Falcons, Bee-eaters, White-winged Black Terns, not to mention White-tailed Plover arriving in the U.K. there was a certain lightness in our steps as Lol and I sauntered around the Lockwood. The usual Peregrine was in the usual place but sadly nothing unusual was in any place.

A Sedge Warbler was doing a passable Common Tern impersonation, the Common Terns were doing....well, Common Tern. I spoke to Mark at Stoke Newington, telling him we were up at the Reservoirs and could he please let us know what was flying our way, only to find he was in South London! This was serious, there was nothing for it....we would have to find our own birds!

There was some fluffy young Lesser Black-backed Gull chicks being eyed protectively by their parents on the island on the East Warwick, either that or they were fluffy young Herring Gull chicks being eyed hungrily by the Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Song Thrush sang, Kingfishers called and flashed by, I paid little heed and stoically watched the sky for the inevitable big bird that was going to cruise through.

As I momentarily stopped my near constant sky vigil, Lol found an Osprey. I was pleased and not amused all at once. It should have been mine. However Lol had seen one earlier this Spring and so it was a nice patch grip back for me. It circled the filter beds for a bit but soon gained the attention of some Gulls and Crows and left, exit stage West, where it was picked up over Clapton by another birder shortly after. Lol informed me that I now owed him a Turtle Dove, a quid pro quo thing I was assured, I offered a Red Kite as I was not confident of ever seeing a Turtle Dove on Walthamstow again, well not for a long time anyway.

Forty minutes later I was able to discharge my debt as a Red Kite, with attached Crow, came in from the South and moved steadily off West. Birders are never satisfied and always want one last good bird so we searched (in vain as it turned out) for a Hobby and a Buzzard to try and make it a seven Raptor day at Walthamstow but none of the Sparrowhawks and Kestrels could be transformed and so we left it at that.

PW

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