Friday, 22 July 2011

Out for the Count



Next year remind not to visit the patch after about February! Certainly not in June or July....dull, dull, dull. Why do I do it? Probably for the extremely unlikely possibility of a patch tick and, at this time of the year if it were to happen it would likely be a real goody.

Goodies of any sort were hard to come by on Wednesday (though I did once bump into Bill Oddie on the patch) I noticed that Pete L had counted Tufted Ducks on the Southern section on Tuesday (1060) this, and desperation, made me decide to count them on the Northern section. 697. There was precious little else on the Lockwood, the Common Terns had calmed down a bit, the chicks really should be able to look after themselves now. Common Sandpipers were down to 8 and the juvenile Little Ringed Plover had swapped itself for an adult, oh, and there was a battalion of grass cutters trimming the banks to oblivion.

I decided that counting Ducks was about as interesting as it was going to get and decided to do the Southern section too. As I got back to the car park to get some sustenance a Hobby flew over from the direction of Tottenham Marsh and started to hunt over No.1.

After a quick lunch I made a start on the Tufties of the South. 1224. So 1921 for the whole complex, though I didn’t do the West Warwick or the Banbury and there would probably be a few hundred on them. Quite impessive if you like moulting Ducks. The whole British Winter population is 110,000 so we must account for about 2% of the total, which makes Walthamstow a significant Wildfowl site.

Speaking of Winter Wildfowl; Lol had a Goldeneye yesterday, what next Smew?

As I got back to the car I am sure I caught a glimpse of the Hobby going back towards Tottenham, a bit of a daytripper like me. They have been mighty scarce this year so far, perhaps now the Swifts and Hirundines are starting to move through we will get to see some more of them. I'm off to Kent today to see some real Birds but It’s nearly August and hopefully time for Walthamstow to get some proper birds.

As Arnie says “I’ll be back”

PW

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