Up with the larks this morning, if there had been any, but there weren't. Or if there were they were keeping a very low profile. The Flats were pretty quiet, unsurprisingly, no Snipe in the muddy margins round the Angel pond, just some Mallards moving in and out of the weeds. No owls in the woods south of Faiground flats, and still too dark to see anything much on Jubilee, bar the regular Heron and a few light and dark forms in the shape of Tufties and Pochard. The Snipe was back under its favourite birch then off somewhere in a hurry. Hundreds of Wood Pigeon commuting to the City. Not much going on either in the Wanstead Gap either(like the famous Holkham Gap in Norfolk, but with less birds and no pines, and no sand dunes. So not really like it at all. Though it does tend to act like a funnel between the flats and the park, or so I think). A pair of Collared Doves chasing each other, some more Great Tit, a calling Goldcrest or two, and no Waxwing. Through Reservoir Wood, behind Shoulder of Mutton and along Heronry to the little tea hut of happiness. Unfortunately closed. Still nothing new and still very cold. No Water Rail at the top end of Perch (but here's one I prepared earlier).
A couple of Linnets in the OSW, and another Song Thrush singing. Down towards the allotments along the Aldersbrook a party of Redwing flew north, and a Chiffchaff called further on (yay year patch tick!). Not much on the River flowing fast and brown, even the TV and gone. A qick jaunt round the Ornamentals to count the ducks, working my way anti-clockwise (the preferred route) back to the Dell. Here's the best place for Lesser Spots and while I scanned the tree tops I heard one drumming furiously back the way I'd come (year tick #2). While watching a Goldcrest fluttering up the side of a tree I saw movement on a trunk. The Treecreeper was back, the Goldcrest forgotten. After a while it flew of deeper into the wood, but I coud still hear it calling and as I got to the bridge over the Dell I caught sight of the same or another bird in a tree closer to the path. Happiness!
That kind Mr Lethbridge supplied me with this photo just in case you were wondering what a tree looked like