My first blog post in 2021. This will be my 9th year of blogging and although I don't churn out as many posts as I have done in the past, I'm still happy (for now) to put down a few words and share a couple of photos on this platform - there's still a few hardcore birders/wildlife bloggers out there whose content I still really enjoy reading and viewing (and vice-versa hopefully) so I'm still pleased be apart of this special little on-line community.
With another lockdown in place and restrictions on travel, a short trip to the patch at Wanstead remains one of the few places I can escape too. And this is exactly what I did on Saturday morning (despite the terrible weather). The easy option would have been to stay at home and drink coffee but I can do that all week - I really needed to be out whatever the weather, if just for my own sanity!
I managed to add a few new birds to the already faltering year-list (I don't know why I bother really) I suppose it's an old habitat that I find hard to break. I'm sure I've mentioned this before but year-listing also helps as a personal motivator even though I find the annual search and chase of the same set of birds somewhat restricting - I mean, how much time do I want to give to a Treecreeper in a dark wood? Whilst we're in lockdown probably quite a bit of time but never the less I could be doing something far more interesting with my precious time other than trying to add another number to an annual list - but that's the odd little game us patch birders all seem to play (and enjoy for the most part).
The singular highlight of that cold and wet Saturday morning (other than a coffee from Gregg's) was a Little Egret - that's right a Little Egret! I saw my first at East Tilbury back in the late 1980's and twitched it by train and I remember being mightily pleased with myself having ticked this exotic Mediterranean Heron, but now they're two a penny and no one barely gives them a second glance (including me) that was until I found this bird happily perched on a floating log just a few metres away. The Egret briefly and beautifully posed under the dark and threatening skies and brought a rare moment of joy that morning to a rather cold and damp photographer. Several native American Tribes believe the 'Heron' is spiritual and a symbol of patience and good luck - I'll take that as a good omen for the rest of 2021.