I rang Pete on Sunday (this is the lay-zee-birda method of working the patch) to find out what he had been seeing lately, as Lol may have mentioned he and I have been working silly hours recently and therefore neglecting Walthamstow. It turned out that Pete had also not been doing his regular tours of the place but was actually on the Lockwood as I spoke to him. I asked if he had seen any decent Waders, it turned out he hadn’t even seen any indecent Waders, I then asked if he had seen any Whinchats on his travels, he replied that the Lockwood was not the best bit of habitat on the patch for them and anyway they were more frequently seen in September. I thanked him and wished him well.
Ten minutes later I received Pete’s text telling me he had got a Whinchat on the Lockwood, I thanked him profusely and went back to sleep, it had been a long week! Forty minutes later I was entering the reservoirs, me and the rest of the population of East London. I have never seen so many people on the complex and this is before it is made a Country Park and opened up to every Dog walker in the Greater London area!
There were great parties of walkers, photographers, fisherman and a number of Birders too. I have never been in favour of restricted access sites, especially those restricted to me, so I cannot really complain but if it carries on at this rate there will be precious few birds to see much after dawn I would think.
I bumped in to Lol up on the bank and we wandered North until we eventually spotted the Whinchat, unfortunately it spotted us seconds before and flew up into a Willow on the High Maynard before disappearing whilst I fiddled with my cameraphone. The other Birders who arrived within moments sadly missed it.
It really was a case of get it while you can. I suspect this might be the way of things to come, either that or some very early morning rises.