Friday, 2 January 2015

New Year, new hopes

It is exactly 30 years since I first kept a year list for Walthamstow Reservoirs - and 25 since I last did. So it will be interesting to see what has changed. One difference, of course, is the new residents. There would have been little chance in 1985 of recording Egyptian Goose, Ring-necked Parakeet or Little Egret which all figured in my first 30 species as I walked slowly around the Maynards and Lockwood. Nor did I find any wintering Chiffchaffs back then while there were at least three in the bushes along the River Lea. But I don't expect Tree Sparrow to make the year list as it did throughout the eighties and wintering Short and Long-eared Owls are also a long shot.
         Goosander and Goldeneye, however, bridge the two eras with a drake Goosander flying north  onto Banbury and a pair of Goldeneye on Lockwood.By the time I had crossed the road, MM had already re-found the drake Scaup which looked as if it had never left the NW corner of No 4. A Common Sandpiper was on No 5 along with five female Goldeneye and 16 Shelduck which 30 years ago I rarely recorded until the Spring. Another Goldeneye was on West Warwick where there were also a pair of Stonechats on the west bank with Mike having another on No 1. But I did not find the Snipe he had on West and East Warwick. Which is a shame as I did record them on my first visit in 1985 along with Redshank, Lapwing and Dunlin during a freezing spell.
        Between the two of us (and counting the Pheasant which was also recorded in the log), we had 58 species on the first day that the reservoirs were open for 2015. Given that we missed several species including Green Woodpecker, 60 in a day just on the reservoirs is certainly achievable if the stars are aligned without unusual conditions. I easily beat my first day total for 1985 but the reservoirs then went on to produce Woodlark and Green-winged Teal together with Slavonian & Red-necked Grebe before the winter was through. So 2015 has got something to live up to...
DB @porthkillier

1 comment:

  1. 58 is a good count for the top half of the patch. Considering the Marshes and the WaterWorks was not observed, well done. Although, you might not have added anything else to your count had you went down there (Green Woodpecker is possible, though). London Wetland Centre recorded a mere 49 species on their first day of 2015, so again... nice work! GH