Monday, 9 September 2013
A Rosefinch by any other name....
Pootling around the flats this morning, I was made aware, by text, or a certain Rosefinch being still present at the Scrubs. Mr Lethbridge suggested I go to bestow my pointless London list with another notch towards respectability. I had a day off and next day Keith, who had just found the Wryneck, said he would chum me there. First time for both of us, and not the real arse to get to I had been making out in my mind. A good looking patch with plenty of potential, so the sooner they build High Speed 2 on it the better.
As we arrived it started to drizzle and what with Birdguides' infallible grid reference to go by it would be a walk in the park. Luckily we ignored Birdguides' infallible grid reference, which would have had us looking at the Linford Christie stadium, which I am sure is very nice and all, but wrong.
Luckily reason took hold of Keith and the railway embankment looked much better. There weren't that many buddleia and some actually had some birds in them. Luckily too, Roger Morton, a Staines Ressy watcher, came just a the right time, with a speaker system with which to tape lure the bird. Nearly deafened me, but did the trick, a few minutes later we are looking at a juvenile in all it's glory. Yeah quite! They are not the most beautiful of birds. It's the head. The rest is fine, neat bars, streaky and nicely proportioned, but the head. Brings back memories of beer goggles for some reason.
Anyway tick and run, and as it was now pissing down quite hard, I don't feel bad at all about this. Satisfactory though as I only got the Tottenham bird on call.
I decided to spend the rest of the day at Rainham, it looked good for river watching. Indeed two of the regulars were already in position on the balcony when I arrived. Near perfect gloom and precipitation they agreed. No one had told this to any birds however.
After a couple of hours of looking at a rainy, grey river, we did a circuit of the reserve, which I think is the idea behind the place. Some Greenshank popped in for a bathe, a Snipe, among many slept through our intrusion - he had probably never seen humans before here; and some beardies called deep within the reeds.
Best bird a calling sandpiper over the Serin mound, didn't quite call like a Green Sand should have done, more like a Solitary Sand, but the big white rump dashed that hope.
Back to work tomorrow, but I am going to Shetland in about a month, so if I can avoid self harm till then....