I've managed to get out and about over the past few days. The Waterworks NR provides the peace that I at times crave - no dogs, no joggers, no bikes, no kids. Well most of the time anyway. The Cetti's Warbler continues to erupt into its' cacophonic refrain. Difficult to exact precise numbers but perhaps up to eight Reed Warbler have been scratching away amongst the reeds, while Common Pochard and Little Grebe are ever present.
Today, a Common Buzzard soared high up to the south of the Waterworks. Slim pickings from what was a glorious day. Common Whitethroat were abundant and the high flying Cormorants mocked me as I impulsively raised my optics in the hope of something a little more alluring.
It was lovely out there. The grasses and flowers providing the dining table for increasing numbers of (in)vertabrates. Plenty of Bees - and I need to get my head around the different species - indiscriminately manoeuvring between their food plants.
Heading up towards Walthamstow Marshes, I was eager to cover as much of the area as possible. Short of tipping copper paint over a Mallard, the infrequently reported Red-Crested Pochards were unsurprisingly absent from the river. Butterflies provided a bit of an interest with a couple of Common Blue, Orange-Tip, Comma, a few Peacocks and plenty of Whites.
One I took earlier - I mean - a while ago (when birding/butterflying was fun)
A few singing Sedge Warbler, Common Whitethroat, and two Lesser Whitethroat, the birding was level par. The search for the latter directed me to an area of the planet, and indeed the Marsh, that I wish never to return to. A distant rattle of the Lesser White, and I was off on a tangent. Hastily altering my route, I made for the metal gate just to the left of the railway bridge where I found a narrow path leading into the unknown.
Just inside the gate, there were two bikes locked up high on the railings. There were people here? Meandering my way along the path, the brush on either side pressed upon my growing sense of disquiet. A shirtless guy approached from the opposite direction, head down, direct. I stepped aside to let him pass. Inklings, I continued on in reticence. The path opened up into a small clearing. Two men stood up as if expecting me wearing nothing but tiny briefs.
For fucks sake.
In sheer panic, I made for a path to the right. There was a figure lying discreetly behind a bush. I made an abrupt turn. Mr budgie smuggler was heading towards me. We passed each other like differential calculus in a History class. In an attempt to avoid eye contact, I made eye contact. The look was distinctly wanton. I glanced back still not fully comprehending what I had stumbled into. The male homo sapien stood rubbing his penis through modest undergarments. Thankfully it wasn't homo erectus.
I didn't take this as a compliment.. I walked away, actually I think I minced away, buttocks clenched a little.
Tomorrow I am going to go somewhere far more convivial.
East London birding.