Wednesday, 26 January 2011

So it's finally come to this!

We have been trying to get a parcel collected from home for the last 10 days, how hard can it be? Well it was my turn to wait in for the van to come; I put the time to good use by intermittently staring out of the window whilst fixing the internet, well actually our internet, not THE internet. This resulted in temporarily curing the problem and seeing two Mute Swans fly past, of course I was hopeful that they would be something better but they didn’t say a word. I have only seen Swans a handful of times from the house, they obviously don’t move around much, well not around here anyway.

No one collected the parcels but the other half arrived which gave me the chance to try the marsh again, I drove over to the bottom of Coppermill Lane and walked to the Horseshoe Thicket, I was just thinking that the water levels looked like they were dropping a bit in the ditches and on the marsh when the water level in the sky rose quite a bit. Nobody forecast that!

I decided that my new strategy, possibly shower induced, was to stand under a tree and wait for the birds to come to me. I am not normally one for standing about so this strategy was soon changed when the shower passed. Best birds around were about 20 Redwings which alternated sitting in the copse with feeding in the exceedingly damp marsh. I walked gingerly on the dryer, I use the term advisedly, bits of the marsh edge in the hopes of flushing a Snipe or such but I got Jack, and I don’t mean Snipe.

There’s nothing for it I thought, I will have to go and look at Gulls on the filter beds. There used to be a good pre-roost gathering here in the afternoons, and no doubt still is, but today the wind got up the light went down and I gave up.
I’m not a Larophile, but certainly not a Larophobe, perhaps just Laro-curious.

I am determined to check the Gull roost out more often this year in the hopes of picking up something decent, I still need Iceland Gull and Kittiwake for the patch and recent Londonbirder chat suggest that early in the New Year is a good time for the latter.

My only London Kiitiwakes were 2 on the Girling and 1 at Staines in October 1987 and 1 at Rainham in September 2008, the first three after the Big Storm and the last up the river. I wonder what it will take to get one on Walthamstow? The Thames does seem to get the Lion’s share but they seem to be able to turn up anywhere and at any time. Pete very kindly sent me a photo of four sitting on the East Warwick from a few years ago, I’m not sure whether to be encouraged or depressed!

So Gulls it is from now on then. Well until some real birds turn up.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Paul. I seem to remember Kittiwake not being too much of a London challenge, and am surprised at your slim haul. Walthamstow must surely get a few. As a possible source of encouragement I had a quick look at my 82-85 London records and found I had seen [live] Kitts on 12 dates, involving 6 different months, 6 venues and at least 30 birds. Mind you, all those localities were more or less on the 'Thames corridor', so maybe not as encouraging as I was hoping...

    Were you elsewhere in late April/early May '85? Kitts were all over the place!