30 May 2012

If you want Common Tern for the patchlist...

...you could do worse that plonk yourself on the bank of Heronry Pond early morning. For the last three days a pair have been extremely faithful to this spot early morning. Would that we had a raft, I reckon they would go for it.

I managed to get down there this morning for what has to be the easiest Common Tern yeartick for many a year, and spent a happy half hour watching them until a Heron displaced them from their favourite perch.

28 May 2012

The Bird-finder General is back

Steve, our BFG, is back and on top form.  Saturday and a Common Sandpiper - OK not the rarest of birds, but one we should have had months ago - still it was enough for JL and myself to make pilgrimage for a glimpse of this belated wader.

Today he came up trumps again, and his call this morning dragged me out of my bed wherein I had decided to spend my time more restfully than wandering round the patch. Common Tern, again nothing unusual, however these were actually grounded, or as much as you could be up a tree. They were even present an hour and a half after his call, when I managed to get my weary body off it's arse and down to the banks of the Heronry. It appeared to be a pair, and a pair quiet at home with their surroundings. We need a raft, or two.

On the way I managed to pick up another, or the same, Reed Warbler chuntering about the reeds on the Shoulder of Mutton, of course by the time Jono went to look for it after work, it had buggered off or lost it's voice (it finally started singing again around 21:30).

While we watched the terns hawking above the water and gradually higher and higher till lost to view (Stuart may have got them sometime later over his new work place of Snaresbrook), we nattered. He said he had spoken to a dog owner, he does that - talks to people, she told him of hearing a Nightingale down by the Roding near the ornamental waters. She had later checked on the internet to verify the song, which she had heard only briefly and was convinced of the ID.  The matter has gone before the elders to be considered!

Meanwhile the police muster station for the Olympics is taking shape....

... apparently along with a ghost-ride, bumper cars, and carousels there will be a bouncy castle.  Only the best for our boys in blue.

23 May 2012

The forgotten patch

With all the doo-dah about silly birds  getting lost in this country and filthy twitching raising it's ugly head, the poor patch has remained ignored, like last year's toys. I've been across it twice before today - at night - so not a lot to report there then.

Today I managed a few hours, the flats were the same: the Willow Warbler could still be heard from the other side of Centre Road, fewer Swifts ploughed wide arcs in the sky, some Swallow still passing through and not a lot else.  I am now concerned about the House Martin that last year (and for many years previously) nested in the Aldersbrook Estate - not a sniff.  Please not another bird lost as a breeder to follow the Reed Bunting, Little Owl and an increasing list of others.

 In the Park our Reed Warbler has finally returned to takeover its Kingdom of the Reeds.  That cheared me up and better news was to follow when Steve texted me of baby humbugs at the grebe nest.

Redbridge Council have finally finished trashing the old sewage works, so that cyclists can get from Manor Park without getting too muddy.  Already its paying dividends, the tow path now is a minefield of dog crap, well done twats!

Today though the sun was shining, birds singing and the more damsels were on the wing.  Euphoria!

I watched a rather strange looking Chiffy flit over the river, where it was set upon by another stranger looking bird -  a large acro (see I know the jargon!) - having fluffed a recent picture ID I decided to send the images to the wise heads...

Probable Reed Warbler and interesting yellow bummed warbler.

Personally this is how I like my Reed Warblers

To their credit the pictures remained faithul to my standards of crap.  No sounds from either and no responses to the suggestions of what they (wishfully) should be as played by me.

But the fact that birds are still on the move means it aint all over and it aint June yet!