Friday, 24 December 2010

Take Five

I took my wife to work this morning which took 5 minutes (compared to the normal 30), as she bade me farewell she asked if I was going over the reservoirs later, I said probably not, which is subtly not the same as no. Strangely my bins seemed to be with me in the car and 5 minutes later I found myself arriving in Walthamstow!

I really didn’t have a lot of time for birding so my best option was to drive down Coppermill Lane and check out No.5 reservoir and the Filter Beds for 5 minutes.

The straw I was hoping to clutch was labelled ‘White-fronted Goose’. I could see some, in my mind’s eye, tagging on to a group of Greylags or one mixed in with some Canada’s, remnants of the scores that were milling around London over the last few days. Sadly my mind’s eyes were not connecting very well with my actual eyes, so no Christmas Goose for me.

There is just a week of patch birding left before the New Year, and, whilst the fat lady is certainly limbering up in the wings, the show is definitely not over yet. We are just about starting the thaw after the big freeze and Duck seemed to have moved back with a vengeance, albeit a bank hugging vengeance.

Around the edge of No.5 must have been 1,000 Tufted Ducks with a smattering of Pochard, I heard Wigeon and soon enough found a few mixed in with some Gadwall, some Shoveler and Teal were also noted and, sleeping on the largest island, a/the drake Pintail. 2 separate ‘redhead’ Goosanders completed the wildfowl line up. A dozen Fieldfares flew West and a Common Sandpiper was working the North bank. There were 8 Lapwings standing on the frozen Filter Beds.

As I drove further down the lane to turn the car around I noticed the Southern gate to the reservoirs was open, it almost never is, I could hear birds calling me in but I manfully resisted, my 5 minutes were up.

I was toying with titling this entry ‘Take 5’ when propitiously that was what came on the radio as I sat typing. Shame there is not a song about White-fronted Geese.


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