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- Epping Forest: Its birds. Edward North Buxton (192...
19 April 2011
After working Sunday and knowing that holidays were just up the road, I couldn't take anymore, so I took some more holiday and unintentionally a lie in. As luck would have it, this was probably the best non decision I've made for a long time, rewarded as I was for my tardy behaviour by the sight of a small un-duck like thing on Bandstand (AKA Angel) Pond.
It was very wader-ish and not a Common Sand, so also very exciting. Being a team player I moved around sun-side to get some shots of before phoning Jono, just in case it hiked it.
Luckily it appeared more than happy in the vestiges of the pond, and fairly oblivious to me. Having got some record shots I phoned Mr Lethbridge. As always when this happens you fear anything spooking the bird before anybody arrives, especially Woodies - having only ever seen them in flight around Alex made me all the more anxious.
While I waited a large dog bounded into the water and made straight for the bird, it flew side-stepping the lunging dog, as it were. Again it charged as its fat owner jogged out of sight behind Bandstand Wood completely oblivious to his arse of a dog. After a few minutes the hound gave up and calm was restored and the sandpiper with it.
Mr Lethbridge arrived soon after, glowing from his exertions of cycling - probably the most eco-friendly twitch he's managed for a long time. His reward probably the best showing of a Wood Sandpiper I think I've ever had, and on the smallest scrap of water, at one of the busiest entrances to the flats, unbelievable. What a place!
As we snapped away an old guy came and asked what we'd got, I lent him my bins. Chuffed, he said he was leading a walk later and would have something to show his entourage. The bird flew off!
Onwards, through the broom fields: 3 Wheatear again, Linnets over and approaching long wood the flash of red from the tail of a Redstart (tick #100 for the patch this year, only four months ahead of last year) bingo! Spent the next half an hour shadowing the rather beautiful bird as it happily went about flycatching.
Holidays are brill!