The Birds lived up, probably should say down, to the weather. Seven Common Sandpipers on the Lockwood were mostly new in, as numbers have diminished lately. 2 Green Sandpipers in the North channel were not new in but were new for me this Autumn, I just haven’t been able to connect with any since the late Spring passage. A nice surprise was a close encounter with one of the local Pheasants, normally seen, or, more usually heard at long range on the allotments at the North end of the Lockwood or on Tottenham and Walthamstow marsh, this fine male was pretty fearless and came within 20m.
Best of the rest was a Wheatear, plenty of Grey Wagtails, some Teal and a couple of Sparrowhawks. Strangely no Hirundines at all! The Water Bailiffs were stocking up the Low Maynard and I took the opportunity of a photo with this normally hidden creature of the depths.
Later after lunch I tried my luck on the Southern section of the reservoirs, (no marsh for me today....see previous post!) hoping for a sight of yesterdays reported Spotted Flycatcher and Goldcrest, I may well have heard the ‘crest in the large Conifers by the Southern (locked) gate but it defiantly refused to show itself. Sadly no sign of the Spotted Flycatcher either, just a handful of Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap representing any semblance of migration, still not a Hirundine to be found I was reduced to looking at Squirrels.
The best surprise was refinding, in the exact same place so not a great piece of Birding skill, the Mandarin. I think it was last seen, by me, three and a half weeks ago on the island on No.2. I suspected then that it might be a male, over that period it has been hiding up and moulting, I don’t think there is too much doubt now.
On this date: 24 09 2003 A rare garden sighting of a Dunnock this morning was probably more of a surprise than the Osprey in the afternoon, attention to the latter was drawn by the 30 Crows harassing it.