Monday, 13 September 2010

Attempts 3, Ospreys 0

There are some birds you can’t plan to see even when you’re undertaking an organised year-list effort, and in London – despite the growing number of records every year – Osprey is one of them.

After a slow start at Rainham yesterday I broke away early on news of a Wryneck at Tyttenhanger. But no sooner had I got to the A13/A406 junction at Beckton than Ruth rang with news of an Osprey drifting down the Ingrebourne Valley towards Rainham village. I did a full-circle of the roundabout and was up on the silt lagoons in no time, but to no avail – apparently the bird diverted east rather than south towards me (thanks to Howard for the updates).

So 45 minutes later I headed away again, this time on the M25, to the Hertfordshire sector in belated pursuit of the Wryneck. A pager message suggested that an Osprey might be lingering at Amwell too, but Jono was on site with Paul Whiteman and reported that the bird had already left. We met up at Tyttenhanger and headed out towards the Wryneck, only to discover that it had been seen by the finder two hours before but not since. Not only that, but there was now another Wryneck at Grays, two miles from Rainham, and the Osprey was reported to be back at Amwell. Grrr!

Amwell's fly-pasts included (above) feral Canada and Barnacle Geese
and (below) also Bar-headed and Greylag Geese, but not Osprey ...

Jono and I toed it round to the Amwell viewpoint, only to learn that we were five minutes too late. Worse still, there had actually been three different Ospreys through between 7 am and 1pm. Our vigil began at 1.05 pm and lasted until 3.30 but was in vain, and the distant Red Kite that I picked up briefly was little consolation.

So this morning was sort of groundhog day, being back at Amwell skywatching in the hope of a repeat of yesterday’s Fish-hawk fly-past. It was a forlorn hope in more cloudy conditions from 7 am until 10.30 am, though I did have some viz-mig with 76 Meadow Pipits through, 15 Yellow Wagtails south-west (including parties of seven and four), 38 Shoveler arriving in three groups, a steady stream of House Martins and Swallows, and Hobby and Sparrowhawk over the wood (but no repeat of yesterday’s kite and 4+ Common Buzzards).

I ended prematurely as it was brightening up mid-morning to head off to Norfolk, and joked to others that they’d get lucky now. And guess what came up on the pager in the afternoon? “Osprey thru Amwell this morning.”

1 comment:

  1. Jeez. Someone who has had more dips in a day than a witch on a ducking stool.

    Shouldn't say this really, but it's reassuring to discover it's not just me who has days like this!



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