5th January 2013 - Amwell, Rye Meads

I've been hoping to get out before now, but haven't managed it.  However, as we had 'fake' Christmas on the 29th, I'm claiming today is my New Year and so I haven't missed out on anything!  We had a great first trip out with a grand total of 52 species and 2 lifers!

It somehow started out as a Waxwing stalking day as we STILL hadn't ever seen one.  A sighting the day before at Beaconsfield Services seemed the best place to start, but we didn't find any Waxwing there, just the usual Pied Wagtail contingent!  A timely message came through on the pager, with Waxwing seen at South Ealing Station, so we drove down there, assuming they'd have disappeared by the time we got there, as had happened every other time we tried to see the species!  So we were extremely excited when we saw a small flock of unfamiliar birds (with quiffs!) in a tree opposite Barclays.  This did indeed turn out to be the elusive Waxwing and they are fatter than expected!  Unfortunately I'm still photo-taking-machine-less so there are no photos that I can put on the blog yet.  Stuart may eventually work out the file format of his camera, but until then, they're stuck on the darned thing!  

It was then on to Amwell, with a specific view to see a Scaup.  We got slightly sidetracked at the first lake, with a great many species spotted, including Goldeneye, Yellow-legged Gull and Bittern amongst other commoner species.  We hoped for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker along the next stretch of path, but instead were rewarded with a flock of around 20 Siskin, which we kept seeing flying over throughout the trip.  When we made it to Tumbling Bay (after being slightly distracted by a gorgeous Grey Wagtail flitting around), the Scaup was happily obvious in amongst Tufted Duck and made a second lifer for the day for us.

A lone Redwing spot was amazingly not disturbed by two trains passing within feet of us so everybody got a good look.  I was then being made fun of for my lack of Treecreeper spotting (apparently they don't show unless I spot them!) when a obliging one sidled around a nearby trunk, causing me to throw my bird book in the air in excitement.  Just before we reached the car to pop to Rye Meads before dusk, a scuffling in a bush behind us announced a male Bullfinch exiting!  A quarter of an hour at Rye Meads gave us one new species for the day, a Green Sandpiper.

Day list: 52
Year list: 52
Lifers on year list: 2

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