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.


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Whinchat at weird yet wonderful Wanstead

So there I was with a couple of hours to kill on a day off work and with all my chores ticked off, I quite fancied ticking off a few migrants missing from my year list. To get the most from the time, it had to be somewhere close and Wanstead Flats seemed the best option. The only problems are, a) I don’t have much luck there although it is well birded and always has some tempting birds. And b) it’s a weird place due to some weird folk wandering around and generally seem to be shifty-looking men hanging around with other shifty-looking men or loud dog owners on mobiles who feel the need to follow me and scare the birds out of every tree.

Still, the birds are good Most of the action appeared to be near the main car park with Meadow Pipits, Skylarks and a couple of Wheatears basking in the warm sunshine and liking the worn out tree trunks that litter the place – in a nice way.

Female Wheatear
Another bird flew in close to the Wheatear I was vainly trying to photograph and I assumed it was another Wheatear and carried on happily taking poor digiscoped images for your delight. This bird though didn’t fly up onto the tree trunk as I might have expected so I shifted my scope in it’s general direction and was pleasantly surprised to find it to be a male Whinchat –tickaroo. It wouldn’t play ball and pose on a nice piece of wood, preferring the long grass game. I have no standards so I took a few shots of it anyway.

Whinchat
There then followed a procession of weird people past who unbeknown to them, ruined everything. I retreated to some small pockets of wood and found a Kestrel relaxing in a tree. With a noisy woman with about 5 dogs approaching on her phone doing a brilliant impression of Dom Joly, I quickly shot a couple of pics before the poor Kestrel alighted it’s perch and took to the air. It was probably thinking poor birdwatcher.

Common Kestrel
Well, that was it. A quick look for a Common Redstart in the Long Wood failed to result in another tick for me and with more strange men wandering around, I made a hasty exit. Maybe Wednesday is their special day for wandering around.

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