8 January 2012

A good day in Wanstead Park

Managed 51 species today in a walk round the park, including several new ones (for me) for the year. Started in Reservoir Wood where a very vocal Coal Tit was tweeking away, and progressed from there to the Ornamental Waters. I walked the east side from the OSW up, not seeing much - so muddy that I had to keep my eyes on the ground and not on the Roding. At the pumphouse I met Steve, who had some fine advice, which was to wait and watch. I usually just tear round, hardly ever stop moving, but sure enough, just by standing on the shingle and looking downstream, we gradually picked up flickers of movement. These turned into two Kingfishers criss-crossing the river about two-hundred yards away - I had likely walked right past them on my way up. So, thanks Steve - maybe it's something I should do a little more.

We carried on together, back the way I had came - next targets Little Egret for Steve and Grey Wag for me. We succeeded with both - the Grey Wag downstream from the tarmac bridge, and the Little Egret near the Golf Course bridges. On our second tour of the OSW, some Bullfinches were piping away but remained invisible - it really is a stronghold for them and long may it continue. A quick cuppa and bit of cake at the Tea Hut, and then on to find a few more species - Redpoll near Shoulder of Mutton, and Goldcrest in Reservoir Wood.

Nothing new for the year, Nick and Tim cleaned up yesterday by the sounds of things, but I'm keeping pace nicely.

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