6 February 2011

Saturday, 5 February

A late post, but I had to cut short my amble round the patch yesterday to go to Cambridge to sort out a phone. It always the same the less time you have the more you want to stay out, the delusion being that you think your going to see something special, because you've seen something 'quite' special. I was hoping that a J Snipe might be confirmed today, but there was nothing on the first walk through the bog. I had to go to the Cat and Dog pond to get a Snipe, which was possibly the one I flushed later from the aforementioned boggy bit of the SSSI. The species were rattling up and it looked good for 50 on the flats, missing were Skylark, Fieldfare (haven't seen any for some time now), Sparrowhawk, Goldcrest, RN Parakeet (also seemingly thin on the ground). A coffee beckoned so down to the little tea shop of happiness, for a mug and a slice. It was too early, so I dinked round the corner to see if I could catch up with the Rail, not showing, and to see if there were any large sawbills on Perch, there weren't. Ah well a mug and slice then. Refreshed I made off to the old sewage works, a Kestrel - probably the same one I'd just seen over the Alex - patch tick. By the little sluice a white object appeared on the side of the Roding. Little Egret, I thought, but I've made this mistake before so checking it wasn't another plastic bag with my bins, it's identity was confirmed (#77 for Wanstead this year). It was then flushed by some golfers teeing off just across the river. It lazily flapped south and round the corner. I followed. I was checking out the opposite bank when I heard a plonk as a errant golf ball hit the water. The Little Egret, which must have been on the bank below me and obscured from view, flopped westward and then over the park. Bad shot, but then I noticed other white objects in the mud and on the far shore, the results of sliced tee shots. I decided that I too might be in danger from the swaggering oafs on the other bank so headed back to the park.

Lots of Tufties, loads of noisy Siskin, but still no Kingfisher. Caught up with the Egret again as it fished with success just south of the pumping station.

And here's what it looks like after a bit of a touch up in photoshop...

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