Well I have a routine when I volunteer at the Lee Valley Park. It begins with an hour or so walk around a part of the park to see what’s about. Normally I do the same old boring route as I also do a BTO winter thrush survey and have an allotted square kilometre to cover and count the numbers of Fieldfare, Redwing Song Thrush etc in that area. Well today would be different and I don’t know why.
The day began with a beautiful blue sky. The past few weeks had been grey and snow white but there was a real sense of things become mild and nature preparing for spring. Instead of wearing what I normally wear, I donned my box-fresh Lee Valley Fleece and volunteer badge. Not exactly exciting I know but it made me feel more a part of the Park and what they do. Silly but there you go.
|Approaching the Bittern Watchpoint|
Before opening up the Bittern Watchpoint, I took a walk or slide or whatever you want to call it to Friday lake to find Smew. All the lakes had extensive ice covering them and very few wildfowl. I did happen upon a couple of twittering Siskin as I negotiated a rather tricky part of the park which I have now renamed the Cresta run. Even when just standing still and viewing the siskin, I could feel myself sliding sideways as if I was on a conveyor belt.
I opened up the centre and put out the telescopes and binoculars; switched on all the CCTV screens while all the time, keeping one eye on the reedbed for the elusive Bittern.
|The usual views you get of a Bittern, if you’re lucky.|
The morning went pretty much as it usually did. The odd glimpse of the bittern as it sneaked around at the back of the reeds and a couple of water rail chasing each other around and around in a routine of their own. As it was a sunny day, plenty of people passed through.
|Even dogs are allowed in.|
Oh yes, and on Friday morning I finally managed to see some Waxwings.
|Bad shot of waxwings but who cares?|