A bit of a catch up blog this one and for a very good reason, I’ve been out at night and haven’t had a chance to write it up.
Jamie P and I had a quick walk around the Lockwood in the early evening with nothing much to show for it other than a moulting adult Common Gull, the first returner of the Autumn. Approximately 30 seconds after he said "I wonder when the first Common Gull will appear?" Spooky.
As long time readers of this blog will recall, I went on a Bat Walk at the Waterworks a few years ago and was disappointed to say the least. The organizers started their introductory spiel with “We don’t know much about Bats” and basically it went downhill from there. 1 Common Pipistrelle.
Last year there was a Bat Walk at Walthamstow Reservoirs and 6 species were seen! I decided that if there was another one this year I would give it a go. There was. I did.
|Good for Bats, not so much for Radio 4|
|Bat Men and Women|
|Soprano (a.k.a. Fat Tony) Pipistrelle|
As an aside, I mentioned the Bat Walk to a colleague at work “Are they still classified as Vermin” she queried. Josephine Public needs a lot more education when it comes to wildlife.
The evening was a relatively clear one and I was hopeful of seeing some celestial and terrestrial bodies from the patch. Mrs. Prof was up for it and we took a bunch of Teens along for protection, Jubilee Park after dark is not for the feint-hearted!
We arrived around 22:00 to make sure our eyes were
acclimatised for the pass of the International Space Station at 22:15 and I’m
glad we did as a spectacular Meteorite flashed across in front of us causing spontaneous
gasps from one and all, success. The ISS proved to be a hit too as it gave
prolonged views as it crossed the skies. Strangely this manmade tin can seemed
to be of most interest to everyone but me. I’m impressed, don’t get me wrong
but I think seeing Jupiter, Mars and Saturn, complete with rings as well as
killer views of the Moon and breathtaking Meteorites take some beating.
We had a few more Meteorites, which not everyone saw and,
after dropping everyone home I snuck out for another look and had 10 all to
myself. I may have even cured the
impinged tendon in my shoulder what with all the laying on the ground too, so
|Saturn, it helps if you squint|
Joining Dave B up on the Lockwood proved to be a good move as we had signs that Autumn passage is underway, nothing earth shattering to be sure but movement nonetheless. First up was a Little Ringed Plover which defied ageing (by us I mean, not age defying of itself), 3 Common Sandpipers and a tame juvenile Dunlin. An adult Yellow Wagtail, a close encounter with a bleached adult Red Kite, which took an age to drift South over Tottenham Marsh, 4+ Willow Warblers and some Lesser Whitethroats were all passage birds.
Sue H texted to say she had got a Spotted Flycatcher on the Waterworks and some Lesser Whitethroats too. We are about to get a very warm Southerly so there could be some more movement to come...