Sunday, 24 July 2016

Summer Aliens

After an absence of several weeks I returned to the patch on Saturday morning with very low expectation, the sterile summer months are typically a bird free zone on Wanstead Flats and I happily steer clear, safe in the knowledge that not much will change until we hit August.

July is a great month to catch up with post breeding waders around the UK but waders and Wanstead don't necessary go hand in hand and we're lucky to catch up with the odd Common or Green Sandpiper, so imagine my surprise when two Lapwing drifted low over the football pitches, circling once before heading west in the direction of Jubilee Pond. Lapwings are annually recorded flying over the Flats but typically these are part of a cold winter movement and are rarely seen in mid-summer on a clear blue sunny day as temperatures are hitting 30 degrees - None the less a welcome patch year tick and a pleasant way to burst my expectation bubble.

As the temperatures continued to rise through the morning unsurprisingly I struggled to add anything else of note on the bird front but a line of three Yellow-bellied Sliders sunning themselves was an odd sight on Jubilee Pond, but fitted in well with the other alien species which frequent the Flats, namely the ever increasing populations of Egyptian Geese and Ring-necked Parakeets and lets not forget the lonely White-cheeked Turaco - I look forward to hearing news of Piranhas and Crocodiles in Wanstead Park before the end of the summer!

Terrapins, UK

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