Saturday, 4 April 2015

Merlin Magic/Misery

             It started so well, despite the very cold NE wind, dampness from the overnight rain and a fisherman bang in the middle of the exposed shore on the west bank of Lockwood. Almost immediately, there was a Little Ringed Plover - the first of the year - in the SE corner. I went down onto the path below so as not to flush it and continued around with the pair of Scaup, Wheatear and female Goldeneye still in residence. A surprise, given it was so cold I was shivering at times, was a Swallow battling north up the Lea but again there were no Sand Martins all day.

                                                     A very little Little Ringed Plover

             When GH arrived - having parked his parents at Tottenham Hale Retail Park (they are certainly seeing the sights of London) - we walked up the east bank again in the rain but there was no sign of the LRP. But turning back, we flushed two where there had been none just five minutes before, making us think these could have been new birds brought down by the shower. They headed north strongly.

              There was nothing apart from one Meadow Pipit on a tour of the Warwicks and the only Blackcap I heard was one singing briefly in the top field. For some reason, I crossed over to have another quick look at Lockwood and saw a birder wandering down the west bank. By the time MC got to me, he had disturbed a male Merlin off the bank which had crossed low over the reservoir - so low that I did not see it. We had another walk round in the hope we could re-find it. No luck although the Wheatear and Scaup were still showing.  Despite what would have been not just a new bird for me for the reservoirs but also London, surprisingly it did not cast a cloud over the day. Must be growing up.
DB @porthkillier

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