I thought I'd start a blog again this year - to document the epic battle (getting carried away as just been watching the Top 50 moments of Harry Potter...) between my two local patches in 2014.
This year will mark the 30th anniversary of my first trip to Brent Reservoir and since I've been doing various patchlist challenges it's always been my main one. Last year I decided I needed to spend more times doing one of the sites along the Lower Thames and I settled on Swanscombe Marsh to be my new patch. It's hardly local as it takes me two hours to get there whereas if I want to bird at Brent I can just look out of my living room window! More on Swanscombe later when I make my first visit there this year.
New Year's Day at Brent Reservoir has be…Read more >
The 'suspiciously-like a Dusky Warbler' finally got confirmed at lunchtime so I maanged to leave work early and head up there in the afternoon. It was calling when I first got there but flew along the canalside bushes and disappeared. It then showed briefly to RJW before vanishing again. We all split up to search, four of us popping in to Tottenham Marshes to look for it but no sign there. I decided to check from the reservoir side and as I got there I heard it call and could see it on the top of the concrete wall. I called the nearest people over and it started to shoew again although a little bit more distantly. Eventually most people got good enough views of this first for London! A very successful twitch although I couldn't manage to f…Read more >
Another bitterly cold day. Fortunately we had a conservation work party scheduled - clearing the reeds that were blocking the views from the hides - so after a little while we'd worked up enough sweat so as not to notice. I was still trying to cool down about half-an-hour after finishing! But at least we've now got a clear view of the mud in east marsh for the anticpated wader-fest in spring!
Bird wise today, no real change, both the female Scaup & drake Goldeneye were still present. And the hoped for movement of rare wildfowl missed us as Whooper Swans were reported at two other sites. Bugger!Read more >
I had planned to go to St James's Park this lunchtime as a couple of Yellow-legged Gulls were reported there yesterday but as it was raining I decided to give it a miss. So I wasn't expecting to get any patchlist additions today, however, mid-afternoon I glanced out of the window as a Peregrine shot past! Excellent, that's my second one I've had since moving in just over 18 months ago.Read more >
Another cold day that got colder as the morning went on due to a NE breeze. There be snow on the way! The drake Goldeneye ws still around which was a surprise as they rarely stay more than a day. A flock of Lapwings was on the rafts, I counted 11 when they got spooked and had a fly around before returning. When they did this again they picked up a couple of strays to make 13. Later they did it again and the number had got up to 15. After I left it went up to 16. One wonders if they were scanning the skies for odd Lapwings which they went up to rescue?
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I did manage one more for the patchlist challenge, a Kingfisher which I heard going along the canal feeder as I returned home, now on 74 of the 79 total species recorded at Brent this year.