This weekend has seen some epic birding – it has worn me out, but luckily I have a week in the office to recover 😉
Seriously though, I spent almost 8 hours out on the patch yesterday and drove down for a day at Dungeness today. More on Dungeness later, but now, I wanted to get up-to-date on patch antics.
I have been complaining how long it has taken me to spot the winter thrushes. Then, like buses, they all come at once.
Nick alerted me to a single Fieldfare which was flitting between tree and grass as a flurry of joggers and dog-walkers disturbed its feeding alongside two Mistle Thrush. As per always, I won’t win any photo prizes for this, but I thought I had better show as well as tell:
I also finally saw a Redwing, but was too busy tweeting my delight to get a photograph (if you think that is a bad excuse, wait until you hear my Bittern story from today). Aside from my slight ineptitude, Fieldfare and Redwing really do seem to have been scarce on the Flats this year so far. There certainly seem less of them than there were pre-Christmas, and other birders have confirmed this. Perhaps there are not enough berries. Nevertheless, those winter thrushes have now taken my patch list for the year to 59.
But my long walk around the patch – which included exploring Leyton Flats and the River Roding for the first time – produced more than just thrushes, albeit they were my only birding patch ‘ticks’…