Mute Swan - Petria WhelanAt last I made it out to a rather waterlogged Wormwood Scrubs for my first bit of birding for a couple of weeks. I originally got a text from Fiona Barclay of Birdguides, who lives in nearby Acton, alerting me to a Egyptian Goose flying towards The Scrubs. I jumped out of bed as if I'd just wet it!
Although I have been moaning about it, my lack of binocular action is actually par for the course for me at this time of the year. I tend to be in hibernation until mid-March when the promise of migrants galvanises me into overdrive ie, daily visits and looking at everything that moves.
This morning a high flying Mute Swan made a couple of circuits and c20 Meadow Pipits revealed themselves in the grassland. It was the largest flock for a couple of months. This is normal for this time of year and no doubt, some of the males will be in song flight before long. Unfortunately, their favoured breeding area has a desire path cut right through it due to the excessive short cutting by dog walkers. After much badgering, I managed to get the Council to put signs up requesting that the paths are not used to help regenerate the area for the pipits. Instead of putting a sign post up at either end, they put the sign at one end and the other in a completely irrelevant place, far from the contested path.
Nothing's ever easy.
I also had around 400 Carrion Crows and at least 100 gulls (mostly Herring & Lesser Black-backs) all up in the air together, as if they had been spooked by some unseen assailant. My guess was that it was a high flying Peregrine.
It was good to get back into the saddle again.