5 February 2011

The blustery day

With strong winds over night the odds were high that there might be something interesting on or over the patch this morning. I intended to get up early. I didn't. That meant that a full circuit was off the agenda and that staring into bushes would have to be cut to a minimum. A male Peregrine followed the line of the trees on the south edge of the flats and gaining height disappeared over Forest Gate (yay! year tick). The Heron was on Jubilee, patiently watching. Two Cormorants dived for god knows what and the wheeling Starling remained stubbornly starling and not Waxwings. No blown in lost birds either. The Fairground was empty bar a group of crows, Skylarks absent. Just before the SSSI a "snipe" flushed from the boggy ground near my feet and silently whizzed over the trees and out of sight. It appeared smaller, it appeared to have a shorter bill, it appeared to have a heavily streaked (with gold) back, it appeared to have a pointy tail. The regular Snipe was under its favoured tree and it to obliged me by taking flight. Both were silent. Now I've never seen a Jack Snipe in flight so I don't really know what to expect. I consulted Stuart (F), who said they fly straight and quickly dive for cover, which mine didn't. The fact that it had sat tight till I was nearly on top of it favoured JS, but I really don't know; it's one of those moments that you start influencing your thoughts to suit your initial reaction. So a possible. Bugger! Must do better. And like the possible YB Warbler, the possible Black Redstart and probably a host of other possibles - not counted.

No such problems in the Park. The Water Rail had not been incorporated into a Heron's diet, the Egyptian Geese were still in situ after trying out the Basin the day before, and there appeared to be many more Siskin in evidence. It's always the same though, I could and wanted to stay longer, but my contract says that I have to go to work. Bugger! The sharp-eyed will have noticed that my enforced paragraph break today is brought to you by the word Cormorant and the number 1.

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