26 February 2017

The Chaos after the Storm

It's February so all is slow and dull. Waking-up on Saturday there is a tweet from early-bird Tony - "Mediterranean Gull on Alex. Flew to football pitches". Impetus to wash and dress (it is still winter) and get out there, our regular Med. gull "Valentino" has gone AWOL so a good shout. OK, I take the car to be quick, and within about 30 minutes I'm going through the nearest large gull flock to Alex. Plenty of Black-headed in there but....so on to the rest of the scattered flocks on the pitch. Back to Alex. One thousand exciting Common Gulls and a few hundred good looking Black-heads later I phone Tony. It had flown west and settled. I widened my search circle and even did the Brick-pit and southern area! Nada. Tony comes back and Jono appears and we discuss the state of the known universe for a while.

I confessed to having used the car and offered Jono a lift back, however he eschewed this kindness and set-off on his prime mission to get some bread from Wild Goose in Leytonstone.  Inevitably he found the Mediterranean gull miles away on the Western flats football pitches and I missed his phone call. About 30 minutes later I was out there, quite close to where I live, giving the assorted gulls a somewhat over zealous grilling. It had gone, I checked every single gull diligently, it was great fun. Anyway 10,000 steps done.

The very next day I decided to revisit the Western flats football pitches, and there at the back was indeed the gull strutting it's stuff in a cocky sort of way

it then flew as a tractor approached

but settled again to allow a reasonable approach

Sorted finally, so off to get the Sunday paper, relax and put my feet up. Sadly the Observer was full of Robert Mercer, a very right-wing plutocrat who has effectively engineered the Brexit and Trump disasters through media manipulation. Apologies, but you need to be aware of this, the environment is more important than money generation for the few.

Meanwhile Jono had been out and discovered a toy female Red-Crested Pochard on the highly artificial Jubilee pond! I had promised, and did, take my family to see the top twenty local wildlife photographs exhibited in the Temple in Wanstead Park. It was organised by the WREN group and was excellent. On getting back I had thirty minutes of freedom. I walked! This gave me five minutes to walk around the pond avoiding the bread chuckers. No RCP visible. It had clearly taken one look at the porridge that is Jubilee and as any self-respecting wild bird would, had set-off for um pastures greener. Or not. Tony found it when he visited.

At just after 16-00 I maneged to escape, took the car and lo, this time even I couldn't miss it.

It continued on it's way parading for the three groups of bread-chuckers about the pond at 16-20 on a Sunday in February.

It is not yet Spring and we had a bit of a storm and I was chasing all over the place. Loads of steps accumulated, but I need to get into training for what is to come, or perhaps get the bird first time?