Saturday 20 February 2010

Dusky Warbler in the last

Dusly Warbler is officially no longer my bogey bird! After 3 previous dips I managed to catch up with the Walthamstow Resevoir bird first thing this morning. I picked up Shaun bright and early at 6am, arriving at the Fisherman's car park 30 minutes later. We had to wait 20 minutes for the gate to open before parking up and heading over the road to the resevoir, joined by Steve Bacon, who we bumped into in the car park.

We walked the mile or so to the bird's favoured area and was surprised to find we were the first on site. Being a 1st for London we thought there would be a big crowd but I guess many people had managed to catch up with the bird during the week.

Within a few minutes we had located a couple of warblers feeding in brambles along side the canal about 100 yards. One was definitely a Chiffy, olive coloured in appearance, the other was much paler, this had to be it, if only we could get enough on it to be sure. We watched the bird for about 20 minutes, skulking in brambles and feeding along the top of the canal wall until eventually it sat out for a few seconds providing slightly better views, that was it! By now there was probably a dozen or so birders but most could not get on to it being a good 100 yards plus away. The bird then flew across the canal and began feeding in the sunshine along the fence line. We moved round to position ourselves opposite the bird then enjoyed great clear views from as close as 30 feet as the bird moved along the fence line most of the time feeding out in the open. Happy with Dusky Warbler on the list (life list 364) we moved on, via the Slavonion Grebe on the reservoir.

Picture by Priscille Preston - thanks!

We headed to the Girling Reservoir just up the road where we counted double figure Black Necked Grebes, Great Northern Diver and Goldeneye, but despite Shaun and Steve trying to string some shabby looking Great Cresteds we could not locate the reported Red Necked Grebe.
Via a McDonalds breakfast we headed up the A10 to Broxbourne to try for Hawfinch that had been reported earlier this morning and the previous day. A muddy 45 mins later we left Hawfinchless, to head home.

It's great to get a lifer locally, let's hope there's more to come in 2010.

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