23 August 2011

Now is the time of our contentment...

Last week's figures of 68 species was somewhat below what I'd thought I'd seen, but this week could get better. As I type rain is falling from the sky and the wind for the first time in ages is from the north with a bit of east in there too. It will of course turn round again tomorrow, but when it stops today things might be out there lurking in the dripping undergrowth. I would try encourage Stuart to go out after work, but since he drew a blank yesterday (when we amassed 2 Redstart, 1 Spotty, 3 Whinchat and a Wheatear, plus the usual warblers and the long-staying Reed Warbler at the east end of Long Wood) only finding strange men loitering in the vicinity of the aforementioned wood it might be difficult to persuade him.

Sunday saw my first Pied Flycatcher (patch tick 103 for the year, 136 all time, 192 for London and 226 for 2011) in millions of years, luckily Captain Tim was on hand to verify the ID.

He had wanted to see Wheatear, I said: well there's one at the top of the tree there! Hang about it just went flycatching.

It was an elusive little B, only sitting out on a branch for a few minutes to help us clinch its validity. Jono on returning from Scotland got better views braving the "waiting log" over which it had set up shop. Juvenile was his conclusion.

A digi-scoped image of a spotty from last year, how I miss the futility of it all

Unfortunately it wasn't there yesterday (Monday), but a new spotty flew in to take its place. Now all we need is the return of our Wryneck from Ally Pally and a few calling Tree Pipits and some other exciting stuff. Please!

Gareth, can I have my Wryneck back please?

Bird of the day was the female Redstart in the scrub by Alex, though the Kingfisher across the path at the east of Long Wood was a surprise. Female redstarts are to my mind so much more beautiful than their colourful mates. Demure. Another cracking bird at this time are the Lesser Whitethroats, stand out corkers.

It's been hard to drag myself away these mornings, and I have a feeling of lethargy about going somewhere else just in case I miss the big one on the flats or in the park. Having said that I had to visit my old mum on Sunday to give her a birthday present and my dutiful son bit was rewarded by 2 Honey Buzzard lazily floating south over the garden eventually being mobbed by a Peregrine. And another description required there! Bring on the long winter evenings and I might get round to doing the rest of the descriptive species from the last year or so.

Currently the site is on 120, up 2 from last year at this time, whatever we get next is going to be mega in some way or other: Black Redstart is my guess though I am holding out for a Wryneck, but I am a tart and anything will do.

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