Saturday, 6 August 2011

Binless Wonder

Not a good day today, it so could have been much better.

I was out locally this morning when I saw a large Raptor circling over my house, it thermalled higher and with each circle I thought it was going to get a bit closer to me, this was going to be essential as I had no optics with me, sadly it never really got close enough, though with bins it would have been a cinch. After it had gained height it glided off North, I made a couple of quick calls but nobody picked it up. The only things I could get was a squared off tail, i.e. not a Kite, broad wings and a couple of deep wing beats, that, and its overall dark appearance leant me toward Honey Buzzard, a couple of which I had seen two weeks ago in the South-east. I don’t think I can really put it on the patch year list at the range I had it without optics, I wonder if it was a Honey?.....the one that got away!

Later I went over to the reservoirs, arriving in the car park I realised I had left my binoculars at home, I was due to meet up with Lol and didn’t have the time or inclination to drive back and get them so decided to make do with my ‘scope. Now I know what it’s like to give up smoking, I didn’t know what to do with my hands and kept reaching down for the non-existent bins.

My plan was to have a look at the West Warwick before Lol arrived but I got sidetracked by an interesting Wader on the East Warwick, it turned out to be one of 3 Common Sandpipers on there, so not so very interesting but at least it was a Wader. It was then that I somehow caught my hand in my tripod, much gushing of blood ensued, could the day get any worse? Lol arrived.

We checked No. 5, dodging a light shower and finding another 3-4 Common Sandpipers. There was a bit of Kingfisher activity around No.3 and a handful of young Shelducks, the rest have now cleared off for their summer holidays in Germany, there’s no accounting for taste.

There was a surprise find amongst the moulting Pochard, but I can’t tell you what or where it was. I can show you a picture though....

On the Lockwood at least a dozen Common Sandpipers were (still) present, it got me wondering if we have had the same Birds now for a few weeks or if they are all new, probably a bit of both. This must be one of the better sites for Common Sand in London I would have thought.

On this date: 06 08 1983 Walthamstow 15:00-18:00 Overcast; 6+ Common Terns and 2 Common Sandpipers. Small party of juvenile Finches and Tree Sparrows. 1 summer-plumaged Black-necked Grebe on Lockwood. 1 white Parakeet or Cockatiel flew South, screeching like a Tern. (Presumably Sulphur-crested Cockatoo)


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