Wednesday, 17 August 2011

South of the Border

Not quite Mexico way but Hackney. I walked up the River Lea on the Hackney side to see if I could find the Mandarin, normally I prefer my Ducks Kosher but I was prepared to have this one Poached but as is becoming clear with this Bird, whenever I enter the restaurant it is off the menu. Enough metaphors already.

The Eastern side of the River, once you reach Spitalfields market, is on the patch so I had to hope that whatever I saw had the decency to be on the correct side, unlike me. When I got to the overflow channel South of the golf course I noticed someone had painted a large Kingfisher on the wall, optimistic I thought, until seconds later a Kingfisher called and flew onto the bank with a Fish. I tried for a photo but the Bird moved on. Last week I got some (distant) pictures of one on the High Maynard but Lol banned me from posting them! Something about the Bird needing to be made up of more than 10 pixels, the cheek! It is really nice to see Kingfishers again after last Winter and early Spring when they were almost non-existent. This bit of River used to be good for them and looks like it is again. Later I had one, or the same, on the Waterworks N.R. They are being seen all over the reservoir complex too, it must have been a very good breeding season.

Other Birds of note here were an adult Little Egret, feeding in the River, and what sounded like a Little Owl calling twice. This is the area they have been seen in before so it is quite possible, but unfortunately there were no more calls.

Coincidentally I heard one from the house, calling in the early hours this morning, certainly not from here though it could well be the same Bird having a wander. Having strayed off the patch, and knowing that Jamie P was abroad, I decided to trespass some more and do the Middlesex N.R. but he had obviously taken all the Birds with him. These Jays were sitting close together, presumably recently fledged, on the Leyton side of the River.

Next up was the marsh, still no sign of any Whinchats but there were at least 5 Kestrels in the field most favoured by them, you would have to be one brave Chat to sit there for long.

A couple of Reed Buntings were on the first bit of Walthamstow marsh. Better looks at the ‘freshwater Limpets’ showed that I was looking at them upside down (them, that is, not me) and what I was taking as a flat shell is in fact the foot. New best guess identification is some sort of Radix.

Thence over to the Waterworks, best Bird was a lone Swift, not many days left for these fellows, especially as news this week is that the first wintering Birds have arrived in Tanzania. The activity in the new ‘Human Habitation Zone’ seems to indicate a successful breeding season.

The last bit of the patch to be checked was the filter beds, for the mid-afternoon Gull build up, I think it was cancelled and no one told me.


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