Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Dusky at dusk

On Monday Phil Wallace and I immediately left a couple of controversial geese that I've described in the post below for a first for London that had been confirmed at Walthamstow.

I did pop over the previous afternoon to have a look for the then 'probable' Dusky Warbler but failed. However, now that the bird was being paged out as confirmed, there were bound to be more people there to find it and it was definitely worth the detour.

Got there at 3pm or so where there was a handful of birders present. We split up and searched the scrub around the flood relief channel at the NE end of Lockwood Reservoir. A couple of possible sightings were announced that caused people to run but they didn't come to much.

The bird was eventually heard calling in vegetation along the eastern side of the channel and everybody had to climb onto a 3 foot concrete wall, shimmy along a bit, spin around a fan of metal spikes, shimmy past some barbed wire, hop over some metal railings then tight-rope walk across a pretty thin concrete girder.

I could hear it calling, frustratingly, just on the other side of the fence along the channel, in some thin vegetation. I got a very brief view as it flew to the next clump but not tickable.

Eventually I got fleeting views of the DUSKY WARBLER creeping around on the other side of the fence, before it came over to the other side for a split second. Nice. Andrew Self found a way of scoping it from further down and on the west side of the canal and we followed suite, getting reasonable views as it moved through the bush I last heard it calling in. Kevin McManus arrived as dusk was only about half an hour away and managed to see the bird.

Had a brief look at Lockwood finding only a female Goosander and a few Goldeneye, no Slavonian Grebe.

An excellent London tick, being the first record for the recording area and a British tick for me too, not to mention a lifer.