I had a small number of targets this morning and very nearly hit them all. Jackdaw was the cheekiest, a few birds scoped from the Lockwood looking towards Chingford (seen on, over, or from, the patch is my maxim).
A looong way up the valley are some fields, some with game crops, but any Pheasant refused to reveal themselves, though it’s arguable whether I could have identified them at this range (I’ve just checked Google Earth and they were 6.5 miles away! Perhaps a tad optimistic.) a hike to the top of the Lockwood was in order and a skulking Pheasant was duly obtained hiding in the allotments in the North-east corner. Not much else seen en route, female Goosander and a pair of Goldeneye on the reservoir and a Common Sandpiper flushed off the High Maynard. A few Chiffchaffs along the Western side of the Lockwood and one Meadow Pipit on the bank.
I checked the Coppermill stream all the way down but it’s most likely that any Kingfishers will be at the Southern end. Indeed one was sat unobtrusively under overhanging branches by the Ferry Boat Inn.
I did the walk through numbers 1, 2 & 3 and came back via the East Warwick hoping for a singing Cetti’s Warbler and/or a Snipe roosting on the rocky West bank of the latter but to no avail.
I didn’t have a lot of time but decided if I got back to the car before 12:00 I would have a quick look at the Waterworks NR. It was 12:20 when I got to the car park but I went anyway...
...There are a lot more Teal in bed 13 now, perhaps flooded out of the Lea, they were busy displaying too. Absolutely no Snipe in bed 16, again! I know they are on the North side of Walthamstow marsh but I really don’t want to get wet feet for a Snipe. I was just thinking this when a Cetti’s Warbler sang from bed 17. Number 70 for me for the patch this year.
This now gives me a problem as Snipe (#71) is the only species recorded from the patch which I haven’t seen yet. It would be very neat to get a clean sweep. Perhaps wet feet are the price I will have to pay? As I pondered this scenario a Kingfisher appeared before my very eyes and fished from a Reed. The rain came down and I made a break for it.