Welcome to my birdwatching blog. This blog will contain stories about my bird watching trips, interesting bird news and other tales that may or may not be bird related. I want to make it useful to the avid birder as well as those who may only have a passing interest in bird watching. I enjoy photographing bird life, common and rare through a spotting scope, not that they always sit still long enough for me. Being on the outskirts of North East London, my reports will not only cover my local patch of Redbridge/Waltham Forest, but also dip into deepest Essex, Suffolk, Kent and Norfolk.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Freezing Fairlop

Seeing as how the rest of my beloved family had set their sights on a trip to Westfield by car today, I decided for the first time, to go birding by tube. The best place by far and quite near was Fairlop Waters. This is a recreational site with a golf course and an active sailing club. The reserve surrounds the main lake and spreads out into typical Essex countryside.

When I arrived, it was clear that a lot of the place was waterlogged which in turn, had semi frozen. So every now and then, I would step on what looked like solid ground only to sink in up to my socks in ice cold muddy water. Trouble is, when you are scanning the horizon for birds, you can’t keep an eye on where you tread. It’s just a hazard of the hobby.

Today was also the first chance I have had to field test my new camera. It’s a Samsung PL60 and well without boring you, it read well and wasn’t expensive. Anyway, I had made an adapter so that it can fit onto my scope and that was that. You can see some of the results below.

This is a Ruddy Duck which was a bit of a surprise as most of these have been culled as they pose a threat to the White-headed Duck that breeds in Spain but these Ruddy fellows are messing with the White-headed females which is not on.

These two gulls, Black-headed Gull left and Common Gull right are skating on thin ice here.

So, after 3 hours, I had a list of 36 species and a pair of very cold feet. Time for a ciggie and a cup of hot coffee after that.

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