It was a glorious sunset yesterday evening and, as I popped upstairs for something, I happened to gaze out of the window, I saw 8-9 large, slow flying birds heading North, I just couldn’t get anything on them and thought I would give Lol (about 4km North of me) a call and get him to have a look as/if they came his way. They were surely going to turn out to be Cranes! Or Gulls.
“Sorry mate I’m just on my way back from the Scoter on the Banbury”
“The what? On the where now?!”
“Oh, didn’t you know, I thought you’d know”
Lol was in no way to blame but, as I looked at the now virtually set sun I reckoned that, that was it for the night. An early start was ruled out when the forecast was for morning fog. I would just have to sneak out of work as early as possible and scoot up there Monday evening. At least we are getting decent day lengths now.
The good news came during the day when the pager announced ‘2 Common Scoter Banbury’; they would soon be mine. Later I checked the Londonwiki and noticed that the message originated from Birdguides, (not a huge fan of their news service I’m afraid) I started to wonder if it actually referred to today or was mistakenly picking them up from yesterday, either way, to cut a long story short (that’s assuming you’ve even made it this far!) they were not there.
Two female Goosander and the on/off female Red-breasted Merganser were present, and even they flew North at dusk, but no Scoter.
By the time I left the light was as murky as the news and I would have had trouble picking out some Scooters let alone some Scoter. On the upside there was a Peregrine sitting on the incinerator stack, which was new for me for the year.
There was another addition to the patch yearlist today but it wasn’t seen by anybody. I received a text that a Red Kite was flying East from Stoke Newington reservoirs at c11:00, it must surely enter Walthamstow airspace I hoped, but would anyone be there to record it? Later I heard that, no doubt the same bird, was seen still flying East to the North of Wanstead at 11:25. Therefore it had crossed Walthamstow airspace and is duly on the yearlist. What do you mean; I’m just bending the rules to suit myself? It’s my patch. (I do refrain from adding stuff if it is only seen flying toward, or away, from the patch as a bird could turn at the last minute, murky though they may be, I do have some scruples)
In fact it’s possible that Buzzard also may have been seen on patch today but I am still awaiting confirmation. If so then we are on 97 and still have 17 days to get three more species before the end of March.
On this date:
14 03 90 Three pairs of Goosander and a number of Shoveler, Teal and Gadwall on the Lockwood.
14 03 09 A displaying, and mating, pair of Peregrines on the pylon by the fishing lodge at Walthamstow was quite a sight. Five Green Sandpipers on the High Maynard and later 2, (probably not additional) on the Lockwood also a Common Sandpiper and 4 male Wheatears there.