In recent weeks the patch hasn't lived up to autumn expectations and I've struggled to record anything of note - I was beginning to worry that my target of a century of birds on the patch in a year would fall short again, especially as my time spent birding is always at a premium. But today that target was finally achieved, and what better autumn bird than a Ring Ouzel to reach that milestone with.
The all important list: Wanstead 2015
Along with the Ring Ouzel it was an excellent morning to witness a big arrival of winter Thrushes with c500 Redwing and c300 Fieldfare counted. There were also good numbers of Chaffinch going through, and Robins and Goldcrests seemed to be popping out of every bit of cover - Wanstead may not be in the same league as our birding havens along the east coast, but for an inland urban site it certainly delivers enough quality to ensure regular visits are ultimately rewarded.
As a non-local who needs more than just leg power to get to Wanstead, I've often questioned my loyalty to the patch when I could be elsewhere birding, but to finally see 100 species of birds in a calendar year proves to myself that my efforts are worthwhile, and for all those blank weekends when I get frustrated with not seeing a great deal, days like today more than make amends - here's to 101 and next weekend...