Friday, February 3, 2012
meanwhile, back in east London.....
a different kind of jungle entirely
..... and with apologies for briefly breaking the flow of posts from our travels. As many have probably gathered (from, for example, the Desert Wheatear post a few weeks ago), we are indeed back in Europe - although still free-range for the time being - and with the present cold snap kicking in, a brisk walk around a familiar local patch seemed like a good way to kill a sunny day in the city.
This is (apparently) the first seriously cold weather system of the winter so far, and while local birding options are somewhat limited (especially in the dead of winter), Walthamstow at least provides an opportunity to check for an interesting duck or two in such circumstances. And so, a brisk walk around the northern complex - exposed, bleak, and numbingly cold, but also crystal clear, blue-skied and beautiful - was a solitary pleasure, and produced the goods.
Plenty of the commoner wildfowl species scattered across the reservoirs, but the Lockwood always seems to hold the most promise, and it didn't disappoint today - six Goldeneye, six Goosander, and with the latter the star of the show, a female Red-breasted Merganser.
Using a 'scope for the first time in about nine months was a cumbersome necessity, hence no DSLR shots today - but instead, short n' crappy digiscoped films (seemingly soundtracked by either incoming messages from Ganymede or a lo-fi bootleg of Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music, you decide).