Saturday, 30 October 2010

All things Green (with envy?)

A brief vizmigging session this morning resulted in the first 2 Jackdaws from the house this autumn, a few Mistle Thrushes, although they could be local wintering birds, some Redwings and quite a few Finches, mostly Chaffinch, Greenfinch and Goldfinch but others too high or distant to specify also about 100 Woodpigeons in two flocks. Most of this stuff was going between North- and South-west.

The building site behind the house looks seriously close to finishing up, it is a mystery to me how much sawing of concrete with a circular saw is necessary in modern building techniques! They will no doubt be gone just as migration finishes for the year.

Not since Icarus sat by the letter box have Waxwings been so eagerly anticipated but looks like I will have to wait a bit longer for that particular house tick. Every 5-10 years we have a Waxwing influx and every 5-10 years I think this is my big chance. My wife came in at lunchtime and said that she had flushed some birds out of the Cotoneaster at the front of the house as she came in, I quizzed her but she reckoned they were Pigeons, It’s probably the only bird she can identify so I relaxed, friends are bemused as to how little knowledge she has picked up being married to a birder for 33 years, she merely replies that I do not know how to work the washing machine....touché!

A walk around the Lockwood later involved some serious shower dodging, I had just seen 5 Green Sandpipers in the overflow channel to the North-west when the heavens opened, for some reason they decided that would be a good time to have a fly around. As the 5 flew back to the channel I thought I heard another to the West. I fiddled around trying to get a photo once they had settled and was reasonably happy with the results (around 400m away with a camera phone) when the sixth bird dropped in....humph.

A female Goldeneye and a perched up Ring-necked Parakeet was probably the highlight on the South side of the complex.

Someone had written ‘Little Stint’ in the logbook at the Fishing Lodge so it will go down on the cumulative year list. I am not saying they were mistaken but I have not seen Little Stint on Walthamstow in over 40 years.......bitter/envious? moi?

A mystery has been solved involving some very weird calls emanating from the island on Number 2 reservoir this summer. I have a new bird calls ‘app’ which reveals that the ‘Donald Duck on Speed’ calls we were hearing are in fact the sound of a Little Egret breeding colony. Probably not a huge surprise really.

On this date: 30 10 82 Walthamstow 16:00-17:00 Dull, overcast; This late afternoon visit in fading light produced c200 Shoveler and other regulars, also 1 Grey Heron being mobbed by Black-headed Gulls in flight and tumbling considerable distances to escape. Also seen 3 separate Short-eared Owls, disturbed whilst resting on bank, seen at close range, dark carpal patch, sandy primary coverts and strongly barred tail. These also mobbed before settling.

30 10 90 At Walthamstow 1 female Pintail and the same male Sparrowhawk as seen a couple of weeks ago, also quite a few Meadow Pipits.


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