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, 21 August 2013

No chance of a Red-billed Tropicbird at Lee Valley...thank God.

People often ask me why I like watching and recording the birds I see. To be honest, I don’t really know. I don’t really remember why birds hit the mark for me except I know it relaxes me and makes me feel good, free and most importantly, makes me feel as though I’m doing something positive to help the future of the nature around me. But it’s not all about me. I record winter thrushes for the BTO and I have started counting butterfly species I see and recording them for The Butterfly Conservation and I submit my recordings to local bird groups. I’m lucky.

This doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated and disappointed if I miss something good – it’s happened a lot. But it never gets the better of me. It just doesn’t matter because there is always next year. People always give me a funny look when I tell them I’ve never seen a Puffin or at least a live one. I will eventually... hopefully. Something to look forward to I say.

I would hate to get to the point where a a missed sighting or a mistaken sighting ever had the cause to cause me grief. So I feel for the birders who should have seen the red-billed Tropicbird at Pendeen but didn’t. And the birders that travel hundreds of pounds and miss a little brown job on some remote island. Just hope they can all have a good laugh about it...not sure I would so I don’t do that.

What Lesser Sand Plover?
Thank God for the Lee Valley Park. You pretty much what you’re going to get here. Bittern, Smew and Goosander in Winter; Nightingales, Terns and Little Ringed Plovers in the Spring/Summer.

We get all sorts of people coming in saying they’ve seen this bird or that. People also think they’ve seen Otters in the park. The park does have Otters but they are few and far between and basically nocturnal in habit and not likely to be sunning themselves on their backs trying to prise open oysters as they might in Ireland or Scotland. We have to manage disappointment all the time.

Common Blue. Nothing more, nothing less. And certainly not a Long-tailed Blue.
Comma. Really wanted it to be a Pearl-bordered Fritillery but hey-ho.
Banded Demoiselle. Common as muck.
We all see things and get them wrong but it should never stop you from making that call. If you see a Siskin and everyone says it must have been a Greenfinch who cares? You saw it and you made the call. The day we stop saying what we see is the day we miss the mega.

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