A judiciously timed email from Lol had alerted me to the presence, all day, of a couple of Redshank in the North-west corner of the Lockwood. So after dinner I trundled up there for a look and there they were, a welcome year tick for the patch. Someone had written Curlew (a strangely scarce bird in the Lea Valley, Whimbrel is probably the commoner species) in the book over the weekend at the fishing Lodge so that’s it, the Waders are returning!
It’s the first day of summer but for the birder it’s the beginning of Autumn, non-breeding, post-breeding or failed-breeding Waders are on their way South. The June lull is officially over. Actually the June lull is fairly brief as the laggards are still moving North at the start of the month, it just feels quiet I guess as most of the rest our migrants have been in for a while. (I may regret this official declaration if I don’t get another patch year tick until the end of August).
The rest of the evening saw a lot of Little Egret activity, tooing and froing from their breeding islands and also a brood of Shelduck on No.3, very sweet, fluffy grey and white. The low evening sunshine picked out a large loafing group of Pochard and Tufted Duck, mostly males, beautiful colours. It certainly chased those blues away.