23 April 2012


It was all going down hill nicely, nothing to shout about, and with the rain becoming increasingly heavier I reconsidered my idea to visit the Hollow Ponds (Leyton) and decided to go home instead having already soaked up more water than a loofah.

Nothing on Jubilee, the strange Willow-chaff singing in the SSSI, and a proper singer, some Whitethroat not a heap else.  The Park was also quiet.  Lesser Black-backed Gulls queueing up for the first Coot chicks, and devouring one of them, the GC Grebes not doing much in the way of imminent parenthood their pathetic weed mound of the nest looking like it will submerge at any moment.

On one side of the ornamental waters I came across the female Mandarin, her partner on the other, so not much reproduction going on there either. The Lesser Whitethroat was back in the old sewage works, but so were the men from Redbridge Council working on the path, so I didn't linger.

I was just checking some gull or pigeon action over Capel Point when I saw a a small series of points in the sky over Forest Gate.  I thought at first it might be a strange cloud formation, but I checked anyway.  A skein of birds flying in a tight 'v'.  Interesting, but bound to be gulls.  They came closer and revealed themselves not be gulls, or geese for that matter. Time for 'big bins'.  I might look stupid wearing two sets of optics, so I now hide the bigger pair in my rucksack, just in case.  Today they would earn their keep.

The skein revealed itself to a formation of wader, more interesting, as they came closer I could see that they were clearly not godwit, narrowing it down to Curlew or Whimbrel and finally the latter as they reached their closest point to me before disappearing over Manor Park in the direction of Ilford.  My count circa 33 birds, I hadn't even seen flocks that large at Cliffe.  Blimey! I even thought about staying out just in case...  ... not for long though!

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