Champions of the Flyway!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Walthamstow Reservoirs, east London - 7th August 2009

With Black Terns being reported from various inland water bodies, including the huge, oceanic reservoirs south-west of the capital (which somewhat bizarrely count as London records), there's only so long even a masochist can stare at a (relative) puddle, in deepest Hackney, in the pouring rain; said masochist even spent two hours in torrential downpours yesterday evening, until dusk, in the vain hope of a brief fly-through, after an extended session in the morning produced nothing...

Today, after several hours on patch again in Stoke Newington (no luck of course, but some nice warblers at least), an unrelated excuse to journey a couple of miles north-east to Walthamstow Reservoirs was too tempting to pass up. Approximately seven million times the size of one's humble, even more urban local patch, Walth Res are still truly inner-city, and shamefully underwatched.

After hooking up with Ian (Woodward, north London BTO rep), we scaled the bank of High Maynard, scanned the banks and open water with their multitudes of Common Terns and Common Sandpipers, and after a few minutes - bingo. A pristine juvenile Black Tern, hawking over the water, and then conveniently resting up on a nearby concrete outcrop.

A joy to watch, and with us for the following hour while we covered the northern complex of reservoirs. Other notables included about six Little Egrets, a Green Sandpiper and a fistful of Kingfishers.