Saturday, 17 December 2011

BLOGOFF (nearly)

An (the) adult Mediterranean Gull was seen again this morning flying South-east over my house, which means it has been seen more often here than anywhere else on the patch, unless of course we have more than one Bird locally. I still think it is probably the Wanstead Bird but what do I know.

The nights are drawing in; thank goodness it’s only 4 days till the shortest day. But that also means it’s only 14 days till the end of the blog, (unless someone else wants to carry it on? And if they do I would like to know where they were for the last two years?) or at least my blogging. It is nearly three years since Mark Pearson set the thing up, though it never got used until March 2010. It has been an interesting experiment in compiling it and I hope it proves to be useful to new local Birders. The site guide is complete from top to bottom, well actually from bottom to top, and should give first time visitors an idea of what to expect and what the layout of the site looks like.

The weekly (or often more frequent) journal entries should give an idea of the ebb and flow of Birds on the patch, at least for the last 22 months. The highs and, mostly, lows of patch work are recorded for posterity. The year lists are remarkably similar for the last two years, I guess it’s not too surprising how predictable most of the species are, though it also gives one a rough idea of some of the more exciting visitors to occur and, of course, just how rare rarities are.

I will leave all the blog entries and year lists intact for future generations of Walthamstow Birders, you never know, once the place is turned into a Country Park, the habitat is vastly improved; it starts to attract scores of regular Birders, loads of rarities start getting found and Petrol hits £2/litre someone may want to resurrect the thing.

Meanwhile, in case you get withdrawal symptoms; a handy cut out and keep guide to blogging Walthamstow Birding style:

1)   A play on words with the title never goes amiss.

2)   A bit of dithering as to whether to bother visiting the patch.

3)   A bit more dithering as to which bit of the patch to check, the North reservoirs, South reservoirs or marsh.

4)   A moan about picking the wrong one in retrospect.

5)   Some speculation/wishful thinking as to what might be found (this can be made to look more scientific by checking other local sites and websites for current occurrences on the migration front.)

6)   At this point inject a bit of nostalgia of how it used to be in the good old days.

7)   Probably best to insert some blurry photo about now to break up the dry text.

8)   Probably best to insert an apology about now for the blurry photo.

9)   Now a description of the visit itself, this can be long and rambling or more concise according to taste, yours of course, not the poor readers.

10)  Some sort of conclusion, possibly tying all the disparate elements of the blog entry together, is usually best left to the end.

11)  Another dose of nostalgia, if available, preferably gripping readers     off with something really good that was seen aeons ago.

And there you have it. Simples.

Maybe a couple of blog entries left till the end of the year, I might even follow the template.

On this date: 17 12 1996 The Dartford Warbler soon seen on Walthamstow Marsh in loose association with 3 Stonechats, also 2 Chiffchaffs nearby.



  1. Paul, I've enjoyed your efforts very much and it's sad to see you throw the towel into the Lockwood.... I'm sat here sipping a cocktail watching white-bellied sea eagles fishing in the arabian ocean, but not knowing where we'll be living when we finally get back in a fortnight? The Stow? watch out Tufted Ducks, there's a new kid in town(possibly....)

  2. My heart bleeds for you:-) Glad you've enjoyed it, sometimes even I did. Move to Walthamstow, there's a great (grate?) patch waiting for you and a ready made blog to pick up.


  3. A pity you've decided to stop. I've only just discovered the blog, and have found it a useful tool for honing my birdwatching over the marshes. Still haven't seen the Little Owl though.

  4. I also occsionally drop in, me being a short Overground journey away at Willesden Junction and Walthamstow being the largest expanse of water that I can get to easilly. Not that you can see much on the reservoirs without a permit, save for a few tantilising views from the train. Guess I shall just pass through on my way to wanstead or further East into Essex, via Stratford. There seems to be an epidemic of Birding Blogs ceasing publication at the mo. :(