Saturday, 27 August 2011

A Grand(ish) Day Out

The day dawned and the game was engaged. Earlier in the week Andrew S had emailed the Londonbirders site that the Brent Birders were doing a big day today, I volunteered the Walthamstow Birders to do likewise, then realised that half the possible ‘volunteers’ were out of town, never mind we managed to field a crew, much thanks to Ian W, Kevin McM and Mike M.

Kevin and Ian were up on the reservoirs first thing whilst I did the early morning shift on the marshes and Mike did the mid-morning. Mike and I later whizzed round the reservoirs in the afternoon.

Highs and lows: The Black Terns were still on the Lockwood, dropping from 5 to 3 during the day. A Dunlin dropped in after the rain and a Jackdaw flew over in the morning. On the marsh a couple of Egyptian Geese dropped into the back paddock and 4 Yellow Wagtails flew South early on but Little Owl, Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush couldn’t be raised.

The feral Barnacle Goose was on No.5 (with it’s escaped Red-breasted Goose mate). A Pheasant calling on the marsh was less usual, though there has been one intermittently down there this Summer, also a latish Sedge Warbler showed well. A Hobby was a nice final addition in the early evening.

Pending any late news from Kevin, we finished on 70 species for the team (when last heard Brent was on 69) including the Barnacle Goose, which may not be to everyone’s liking. Maybe it’s best to call it an honourable draw. It was more fun than exciting, to tell the truth but, as is usually the case with these things the Birds need to cooperate. Perhaps a mid-winter challenge could be in the offing.

The species:

Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Greater Canada Goose, Barnacle Goose, Egyptian Goose, Gadwall, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Ruddy Duck, Common Pheasant, Great Cormorant, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Kestrel, Hobby, Common Moorhen, Common Coot, Common Sandpiper, Dunlin, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Tern, Black Tern, Rock Dove, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Magpie, Eurasian Jay, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Long-tailed Tit, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Winter Wren, Common Starling, Blackbird, Robin, Northern Wheatear, Hedge Accentor, House Sparrow, Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet.

On this date: 27 08 83 Wind NW1 calm and hot: 1 juvenile Little Grebe on High Maynard also a Kingfisher seen twice. A juvenile Cuckoo on the Lockwood, 1 Greenshank heard flying South there and a Snipe on No.3. Many Yellow Wagtails and a few Common Sandpipers.


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