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, 7 December 2013

A day in the valley

I seem to have done quite a bit of birdwatching lately. It’s hard work you know. Not only do I have to* carry a ruck sack with a heavy duty Thermos, a not so light telescope which is inevitably attached to a tripod which, no matter which way I sling it over my back, sticks it’s lever arm into my back and a pair of bins to boot. Add to this a camera and assorted bits and pieces for digiscoping, a pen that works and a notebook with blank pages (rare), gloves, hat and iPhone. Everything is always in another pocket to the one I put it in and it can all get a bit frazzling. Then, when I get home, I go through all the bad pictures and try to salvage at least one to add to the blog I feel I must write now I have been doing them for 4 years...I have duty to my reader you know.

* I don’t have to do any of this really.

So sometimes, it’s easier for me to just go local. No fuss and no thinking. I know the valley well from Walthamstow to Ware and on a good day it can be as good as anywhere in the country. So it was decided. A morning trip to Amwell NR followed by an afternoon at Fishers Green; all very simple and all very relaxing.


Cormorants and Coot
Most of the time I spend my time at Lee Valley Park as a volunteer. So for the afternoon I decided to be Joe Public and headed to Fishers Green. I wandered up to Holyfield Farm first to see Common Buzzard and the regular Yellowhammers. The wind was gusting a bit and it made the usual 'find a yellowhammer by the call' game a little harder but I managed one at least. The Buzzard came slow and low across me so I had time to catch it on camera...miracle.

Common Buzzard
A quick look for a Bittern at the watchpoint proved fruitless but the Water Rail tried hard to impress me but I was cold and tired and probably a bit offish towards it by now. Sorry little guy.

Sod you then.

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