After an evening in the pub with the rest of the Wanstead birding crew, were I enjoyed mostly talking rubbish, as ale after ale continued to flow. We had all met up to wish fellow patch-worker Dan well in his new Devon adventure - I'm sure he's going to miss the patch but maybe not as much as the Witherspoon pint drinking, tattooed ladies of Leytonstone!
As my birding colleagues slept off their hangovers, I stole a march on them all and was up and out on the Flats before 7.00am. Dehydrated and feeling a little jaded myself, I headed towards the SSSI area, soon I was watching good numbers of Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff feeding amongst the young Birch trees when I recognised the contact call of a Pied Flycatcher. Earlier in the week I had missed the previous patch Pied Fly by just a few minutes, so this was a little a bit of redemption and reward for dragging myself out of bed. I could just pick out the bird in the heavy leafy cover of one of the Lime Trees and quickly put the message out to last nights motley crew, slowly one by one they all soon put in an appearance - some looking and smelling better than others (you know who you are).
I believe the bird stuck around for most of the day, allowing everyone to eventually connect with this quality autumn bird. This was only my second Pied Fly on the patch having missed several in the past, never an easy bird to catch up with and always difficult to photograph amongst the shaded leafy cover - not made any easier by the slow reactions of a tired and hungover bloke behind the camera!