Saturday, 23 February 2013
Back to London listing
After a couple of days away, which has boosted the year list somewhat, I was back on the London lookout (well off the pace for my target) at Rainham. Yesterday Dom Mitchell had picked up a male Hen Harrier quartering Wennington, and I thought, that would be nice. Full of high spirits and coffee I walked with a spring in my step. Half way to the station I remembered my tripod.
Down to the concrete barges, and I was even looking forward to seeing some big ugly gulls, only to be told by (I believe) Bilbo and Baggins (who were not short and bare-footed), that gulls were not viewable from the path. Oh dear! Some were quite obviously visible, but obviously not the big ugly, interesting ones. The ones that were there had their faces into the wind so all I got were gulls arse, though I did pick one with ridiculously long legs, standing next to a stumpy legged Herring Gull, mmm! Never mind. On the plus side a Common Sandpiper jinked out from the shore. Didn't get one of those last year here, but I was never here either. A quick scan of the floating larid mass and a Med swam into view. Ding dong!
There were Snipe everywhere, so a Jack had to be on the cards. Local gen from Bradder's suggested the best way to catch up with them was to go on to the salt marsh. So I did, and after another dozen or so Commons a couple of Jacks spun away from my feet. Job done, now more coffee.
A couple I'd met on the bridge at Rainham had picked up a male Black Redstart on the foreshore at the end of Ferry Lane, now you can find these in the city, but since I don't work there anymore and don't envisage going on the off-chance, I thought I'd rush round and have a butcher's.
Never works the way you plan. First a Barn Owl stopped my progress hunting along the sea wall, then viewing from the Serin mound I picked up 2 Short-ears over the silts. Rushing on I espied Hawky on the silts. He kindly let me informing me I had just missed the male Hen Harrier by about 5 minutes. He offered me a picture of it's arse to tick. I am slightly better than that. At the moment.
A quick rush along the waterfront but I was beaten again by the oncoming night. I might have to come back tomorrow...