Sunday, 24 March 2013

Good times, bad times

Having successfully missed Wanstead's second Stone Curlew this morning, I was a bit sad.  Happy that so many more got on to this enigmatic bird this time and especially for Jono, as it might encourage him to come out a bit more.  I should have seen it, I was about to turn towards the stoney part of the SSSI when "next day" Keith spotted some people waving at us, he presumed (they were dog walkers it turns out), so he encouraged me against my own better judgement to go with him. I needed a pick-me-up, and only a Wheatear would do.  That meant Rainham, since I couldn't find ours yesterday.

At Ferry Lane, I quickly found the female Black Redstart, and soon after one of the Wheatear, a first winter job but smart for all that. The second bird flew across the bay to the east.  Happiness! Further along I got a text from Bradders informing me of Scoter on the river, but going the wrong way. I'd thought the crappy weather would be influencing things on the river, but had hoped to see the results.

I checked the gulls on the pier by the barges.  Nothing interesting. Then I spotted a trio of Scoter high and going up river.  They appeared to be landing in the Ferry Lane bay, so I hoofed it back, flushing a female Stonechat on the way. No sign of the scoter, but then retracing my steps again, got another 4 heading Londonward. Sweet, Rainham and London Life tick.

A call from Bradders told of a Goosander on the river by the centre, and by the sounds of it doing what all ducks do so well: not a lot. I was on my way.

 I picked up the big duck just east of Aveley Bay and another or the same party of Scoter. Kerching another Rainham life tick.

 Then it all went a bit down hill, though 9 Ruff on Aveley was nice and my boots didn't get soaked.  On the way back I got a third Wheatear.  Happiness!

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