Saturday, December 26, 2015

Raising a Yellow-brow at Christmas

So that's Christmas over for another year.  Presents opened, crackers pulled, the turkey demolished, and before we know it, we're tucking into the surplus of the previous day.  It all felt rather subdued this year.  I'm not sure why, but family time is valuable time, and I am grateful for this.

However, a day spent indoors and I was itching to get out in the morning.  Surprisingly I felt rather energised despite the sloth of the previous day so decided to head down the road to Brent Reservoir to try my luck for the unseasonal Yellow-browed Warbler that had been present for a few days.

Having lived near Watford for twenty-nine years, it was a little curious that I had never made a visit there.  The habitat looks great and there was plenty of wildfowl on the Marsh.

I headed over to the its favoured location behind Heron Hide and waited.  A few of the local birders were present for a while but decided to move on.  I was now on full sensory alert.

The wind was brisk, it was typically dull, overcast but mild, it certainly didn't feel like the right conditions for seeing a skulky phyllosc.

Fifty minutes had passed before I heard it call, and then call again, but it was all too brief, and I questioned my senses.  Then I saw it, moving swiftly around the treeline, at times it did briefly pause for decent views.  It then flew back from whence it came, and called again.  As for me, well I was now full of cheer.  A really nice bird to see in London, notwithstanding it's flipping December.

I moved onto the North Marsh, where a drake Pintail roosted toward the back of the lake.  There was plenty of wildfowl there, good numbers of Tufted Duck and Coot with smaller groups of Teal and Shoveler.

Common Gull were also present in good numbers.

Back home, this lovely Blackcap put in an appearance in my mum's back garden, managing to get this photo through the living room window.  A Jay and five Redwing were also seen - a nice little haven for wildlife where in the past I have had Black Redstart and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.

As for today, it was back to more leftovers and more Christmas Pud.  Happy Christmas.

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