Thursday, 10 December 2020

Goosing around and staying local

 Having watched the local Wanstead guys excitement at finding a Russian White-fronted Goose on the football pitches by the lake as part of the recent influx I was tempted to visit but thought best to let the patch workers enjoy their find first so today I set off to see it first the bird had stayed and secondly if I could find it. Parking up at Alex I quickly found the bird feeding all alone on the grass whilst every other goose was around the edge of the lake. Before I'd put on my coat the Russian had been flushed by a dog walker and flew to the safety of the water where I watched it for about thirty minutes before it flew back to the field to feed.

Russian White-fronted Goose

It was a little skittish and had a safe boundary of around forty feet but any encroachment had it turning and moving further away. At one point it came closer until somebody decided to walk between me and the bird despite having the whole field to walk in and it was eventually flushed back onto the lake when a couple walked right through it's path again they could see I was there with a camera but just kept on walking in the birds direction which is just a little frustrating at times.


The Coots at Wanstead .....mind you don't step on them!

After Wanstead I returned to Gunpowder Park where the Owls came out a little earlier in reasonable light for a change and so enabled a couple of images with a little less grain. I love watching these birds and enjoy talking to the local guys too. The general behaviour of the visiting birders/toggers etc has improved since the signs went up and the roost seems to be largely ignored now which is great and may help the birds as they can now leave the roost easier. I noted a flock of twenty plus Redpoll again.

I've seen a couple of reports of three Owls but have only ever seen two birds keeping in mind I've visited almost every night for over a month so for me it's still two birds until I see three together. They have a habit of being seen to the south and then minutes later to the north without you seeing them pass and I guess this has caused confusion but should I witness the three birds together I'll get out the humble pie for sure.

I'm very thankful to have these birds local to me and have really enjoyed their company what with lockdown and all it's challenges and it has to be said that just meeting people (whilst keeping distanced) outdoors to discuss the shared love of wildlife and photography has given me some much needed company when being with family has been so difficult.

The year list remains locked down on 271 and I fear that's where it's destined to end with little local new birds available.

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