Did I say it was doing to be hard to get motivated in February? Well I was right. Now if January had lasted a few more days, that would have been better.
I reckon it was like that for most London birders, absolutely nothing to get excited about–oh, there was a Dusky Thrush, apparently, near the Banbury Reservoir, possibly. Like the thrush last month it disappeared without trace, or maybe like the Thames Ring-billed Gull–a hoax, or like yet another Cattle Egret claim, just wrong!
As for the diary? Bored of that already!
Having said that early February was taken up putting together a talk for the NE London RSPB Group on "The importance of patch"
What was to be a call to keep it local and promote patch birding was quickly changed to look what we've found on our patch! Of the 62 attendees, 2 of whom still thought they had come to hear Mike Dilger (he off the telly), only a handful were under that magic number in age. Apart from a few technical hick ups on my part (thanks to Gozia for helping me out there!), it went OK, so much so they are thinking of inviting me to speak at their AGM. However, I don't see it taking off as a new career.
I also finished the main part of the Wanstead Bird Report for 2016, time consuming and not birding friendly.
Brambling and Reed Bunting Ingrebourne Valley NR visitors centre
A particularly grotty day on Wanstead, but great for the larid-lovers–thousands of gulls and only one of interest to me.
Rainham and a smart Brent Goose on the river
1 March Wanstead Park
Brent Reservoir 3 March
... and the main reason for my first visit to this rather good, and very productive over the years, patch–a smart male Ring-necked Duck. Too far away and too much sun...
Rainham Linnets and buntings
A brief holiday with me mum and sis to Sutton Common, Suffolk. Absolutely awesome, only a shame it wasn't slightly later in the year when there are Nightjar about. Missed a Roller here a few years back after an overnight walk from Ipswich (well Manningtree to be exact).
Ok, the highlight of the trip, a Great Grey Shrike to myself. My mum got it on her life list later that day though I am not sure she will remember or realise that!
Garganey, Walthamstow (Wetlands). Ha ha they wont be getting so many good birds when the masses descend on the reservoirs with their kids, dogs, bikes! Needless to say the best views I've had of this smart drake duck.
Grays Riverside to Rainham. Northern Wheatear at West Thurrock marshes
... finally arriving at Rainham sometime later