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1 July 2011
The second half kicks off...
The year half gone, but probably the best bit still to come. Time to appraise my targets, set so rashly at the beginning of the year.
My year list; still about 20 below last year, but pootling along nicely. Life list; not as hoped over the 300 by my birthday, so a fail there. London list; tantalisingly short of target and with a few dodgy sorts that need to be expunged. And finally the most important one of all, the Wanstead list; on the up, but still much to be done and a work in progress.
Next June: A few Kites, Hobby and some Shelduck. A Common Tern, anti climax on the grebe front, and some fledged Reed Warblers.
One of these was not seen by the bowling green anywhere near Wanstead
July already looks better. Today I got to see the fledged Willow Warblers in the SSSI: could be four could be more. For a bird on the decline in the south this is good news, but it was touch and go. The heavy rains worried me over their survival, and the amount of food being carried by the adults looked pitiful, though what they lacked in beakfuls was more than made up by their industry. Strange to think I had only managed to convince myself there were two birds just a few weeks ago, and only found the nest site this week, and now they've fledged.
It's been a pretty dire year for our predatory birds. It looks like the Little Owl has gone, Kestrel numbers and sightings are way down, Sparrowhawks appear to be less numerous, and as for breeding Hobby - fingers crossed.
After hearing what could possibly pass for young sprawks, I got some evidence to suggest a nest when I managed to snap an adult male perching in a tree. It was only when I uploaded the pictures I noticed he had a twig in his beak, and as all keen followers of Springwatch will know, raptors will bring nesting materials even when there are young in the nest.
Just round the corner a Grey Heron flew low over my head and tried to crap on me. But missed! That would have been lucky, and judging by the volume expelled, painful.
While i wandered slowly towards the little tea shop of happiness two Bullfinch flew down the north side of Heronry, the first I've seen since the winter. Shame there were only the pair though.