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5 September 2012
Every year the Brent birder's have an annual bird count day - a thinly veiled attempt to get their year list up a few notches by bringing on board extra eyes. Canons Farm pursued a similar kind of exercise south of the river this weekend too. We would never use anything so contrived (incidentally our bird race is pencilled in for the 15th September), oh no!.
So there was just the seven of us on the flats on Saturday. We all finally met up at the east end of Long Wood. I came via the Alex, Stu the basin, Tim had swept by Jubilee and Dan in the brooms. Add to that Barry and Keith and later Bob V, we outnumbered the dog walkers for once. The trouble is when we have large get-togethers we all tend to bunch together and just natter.
By the end of my 13 hour shift, the combined effort was 66 species on the flats, with an extra 4 contributed by Stu coming in from the basin, easily overtaking Brent's 66. Bird of the day, the Cuckoo that nearly took Stu's head off as it tried to make a bolt south through it. 3 Redstart, several Spotted Flycatcher, 5 Whinchat,Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail... ... it was like August had never finished. May have even got the Wryneck briefly in its favoured bush!
Sunday looked like continuing in the same vein. Met up with Tony in the scrub to the east of the Alex where he picked up yet another Sedge Warbler - we must have been overlooking these somehow in the past - then it rained. Still managed a respectable 66 for the flats and the park combined, with the total for the weekend a highly commendable 75.
Can't think of too much that we could have got to add to that tally. Tree Pipit, of course, but I would have to wait till Tuesday to get one of these finally on the patch list. Showed and called just long enough for Jono to get interested and then disappeared when he arrived. Within five minutes of his leaving it called again.
I am off down the Alex again tomorrow, I feel Osprey in the air.