Sunday, 18 December 2016

Patch Year List - Smashed!

104 was the number to beat and smashed it I have.

A single Golden Plover over the Flats on December 4th was the bird which took me to 104 for the year - equalling my previous best total, and then on Saturday I went in search of a couple of those notable omissions. First up was Kingfisher, not a difficult bird to catch up with if you spend enough time in Wanstead Park but that's why it was still missing from my list - I don't cover the Park very often, but within seconds of stepping out of the car as I walked towards the Tea Hut the first bird I encounter was a Kingfisher flying low over Heronry Lake. With Kingfisher easily snaffled and a new personal best of 105 in my back pocket my next stop was Bush Wood, this is another location on the patch I rarely visit but it can be good area for my next target - Treecreeper.

The trouble with Bush Wood is the general lack of light, even on the brightest of days it feels dark and gloomy which is great news if you're a Firecrest wintering amongst the tangled mass of Holly but if you're searching for a Treecreeper the gloom can easily hamper your chances, but again I got lucky. I picked out the shape of a pair of Nuthatch silhouetted amongst the bare branches and sky, followed by a Tit flock passing through and then soon after number 106 came into view as a Treecreeper flew between the nearest two tree trunks.

The 2016 List

106 a new personal best year total on the patch and with a little bit of time off between Christmas and New Year there may just be an outside chance of adding to this number - and then we restart those totals and go all over again!

Birds, Woodland, Wanstead
A Treecreeper in the dark
Emphasising just how dark and gloomy Bush Wood can be!

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