Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Heaven in a fish pond

Black-necked Grebes - Dean Eades
I was up again at the crack of dawn and after a lame hotel breakfast I walked through the city heading south to the river. Once at the River Vistula I took a left turn and headed east. The river was fairly concreted at the edges for the first mile or so. When the banks became natural I began to see the birds; another migrant Common Redstart, a female Black Redstart, Wood Warbler, Common Sandpiper, Tree Sparrow, Lesser Whitethroat and Kingfisher were added to the list. It was a bloody long walk and I got back to more or less where I started some 4 hours later.

After having some lunch, I hooked up with Chemink (after walking over 2 miles to get to our meeting point) to head some 40km out of town to visit an area of fish ponds with a name that I won't even bother to try to write down. Essentially, it was an area of around 15 gravel pits, some of which were drained. It was absolutely amazing! Whiskered Terns, around 10 Marsh Harriers, White Stork, Garganey, Great White Egret, Black-necked Grebe, Wood Sandpiper, a booming Bittern were all in evidence. Plus I heard Penduline Tit, Savi's and Great Reed Warblers.

I decided to change my plans for tomorrow and brave a long bus journey to get back to these fish ponds and spend a day tracking down the abundant birdlife. It's not quite Urban Birding, but everybody needs a fix every now and again.

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