Saturday, 5 November 2011

There’s No Bunting Like Snow Bunting

I knew before I arrived that this morning’s Snow Bunting had done a bunk but decided to have a stroll around the Lockwood anyway, you never know it might return to the scene of the crime. It didn’t, but the good news was that I got a patch year tick nonetheless. Atop the Lockwood I was struck by the light flight of a small Gull-like Bird, that little Gull looks like a Tern, thought I, its November this could be good, it was, but not that good, the little Gull-like Bird was in fact a Little Gull. A first winter Bird, and the first for the patch this year surprisingly, it hawked up and down the Low Maynard for at least a couple of hours.

After upgrading the software on my phone I find that the zoom feature on the, fairly poor, camera is suddenly not available anymore, could be that the quality of my photos will deteriorate from now on (I can hear Lol asking if that’s possible) but here is the best.

The level on the Lockwood was the lowest I can remember, naturally nothing had been attracted to it (since this morning’s brief Snow Bunting) but it may yet come good. There was just 1 Common Sandpiper, soon to be a wintering Common Sandpiper I hope. 2 Green Sandpipers were in the North Channel. Also in the North Channel were 3 Little Egrets a couple of Herons and a bunch of Gulls all standing motionless around an abandoned football, it felt like I had just interrupted some sort of Avian tournament.

There were a couple of dozen Teal at the North end of the Lockwood and as I scoped them they took off, at which point it appeared that one of them, may have had a vertical white flank bar, I watched them fly around for a bit expecting them to land in the middle, which a handful did, the others flew dementedly like each one was being personally pursued by a flock of Peregrines. I gave up watching in the end and decided to catch up with them on the South bound leg of the circuit, needless to say they were nowhere to be found.

The South side of the complex held no surprises though the Duck are looking a bit smarter now, coming out of eclipse. A reasonable number of Shoveler and Gadwall were on the East Warwick. On No.5 there was an interesting hybrid ‘athya’ probably a Ferruginous x Pochard, I tried for a photo but the light was non-existent.

As I passed the island on No.2 somebody let off a large firework in Walthamstow and, despite the distance, everything on the island went up. It was interesting to see how much stuff was roosting on such a small island, hundreds of Woodpigeons, Crows, Gulls, Herons and Egrets, the later calling ‘aarrk’ in annoyance, not a sound I have heard from them before. Eventually most things settled down again but I suspect a disturbed nights sleep will be had on the patch tonight.

On this date:

05 11 1983 Walthamstow 13:30-16:30 Wind NW2, misty; 2 male & 1 female Teal on No.3. 1 Gadwall on High Maynard, 1 male Goldeneye on Lockwood. Adult winter-plumage Dunlin and 1 scandinavian Rock Pipit also on Lockwood. 3 Grey Wagtail.

05 11 1987 Walthamstow; 1 Black-necked Grebe on No.3 reservoir.


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