It nice to have the old place to myself again. Sure the Wryneck was good, very good, and Tony you are right in saying we shouldn't take such instances for granted. But it doesn't half take up your time just looking for it, just in case. Now I am pretty confident it's hoofed it I can get back to the job in hand, namely finding the next interesting bird. Yesterday it was a Common Buzzard that refused to be anything else, and today the spotty in the Alex scrub gave me a few palpitations as I picked it up at distance. When I got closer though, it was only going to be one thing, but nice all the same, but with Whinchat numbers picking up today, you are always in with a shout of something out of the ordinary popping up.
A special tree right by the visi-mig point. Occupants to date: Waxwing, Dartford Warbler, Barred Warbler, Wryneck, Redstart, Whinchat, Wheatear, Nightingale, Yellowhammer (to name but a few)
Actually managed to get down to the Park for the first time ages. Wintering duck: Pochard, Tufties and Gadwall were new to me and in the old sewage works a reminder of Summer in the shape of a Sedge Warbler down by the Roding.
Back to the flats via the forbidden triangle and the scene of the latest devastation by the City Corporation: where once grasshopper chirruped from every blade of grass, butterfly and dragonfly flitted and buzzed was a badly mown lawn and a food resource destroyed. Clearing mattresses, carpets, duvets and other shite - no way, but the un-necessary clearance of rough grassland - that's our guardians of the environment for you.
Back at the east end of Long Wood I met up with Mike Dent, whose bird reports we cannibalised for our site list (see the Bird Report tab) . He complimented us for putting the flats on the map, saying that in his time working the area they never bothered to come here. Luckily he hadn't come to see the Wryneck and was very happy with the five Whinchat that were still giving the runaround to the south of Long Wood.
Took this photo of Greenfinch the other day and unfortunately the male is showing signs of that nasty disease trichomonosis, the other two birds with it appeared clear. Makes you wonder why a disease would want to kill its host, there would be no benefit in it. A bit like us humans destroying our planet I suppose.
Finally: No Barry you only get a mention when you find something good which we don't know is there, not something we know is around. Come back and try again. Something along the lines of the Marsh Harrier last year, but not a Marsh Harrier as I don't need it. A Honey Buzzard would be good, just make sure we are on hand when you do find it. OK?