Common Gull with red colour ring AL24
I still had two hours spare before I had to head on to my Grandparents house so decided to walk northwards along the river away from the general noise and commotion. This proved rather fruitful as I came across a rather more tranquil lake opposite the sewage works with relatively little disturbance. A male Stonechat was the first bird of note, followed by a Green Sandpiper heard calling from within the boundaries of the sewage works and there was an impressive flock of Wigeon feeding on the banks. I made a short walk to the neighbouring lake, scanned the hedges etc. before heading back the way I'd come. However, a distant large gull on the waters edge attracted my attention and with hopes of closer views I decided to spend the last of my time going to check it out. Unfortunately, it was flushed by a careless dog walker before I arrived so left a little disheartened.
It was on my final return that I gave a cursory last glance over the lake to set eyes on 2 Reed Buntings feeding in the reedmace. Given that both my normal patches (Kings Langley and Falmouth) very rarely provide the opportunity to enjoy these birds I thought I'd give them a little more attention. However, when it came to taking a look through the scope, I could hardly believe it when the classic appearance of a Penduline Tit materialised right next to the two birds I'd originally intended on appreciating! It took a considerably long time for the gravity of this to finally sink in and numerous shakes of the head, blinking of eyes, waving of arms and few profanities until my brain finally acknowledged there was really a PENDULINE TIT feeding in the bulrushes in front of me!!! I quickly diverted to taking a few record digi-scope shots just in case it decided on making a dash for it before I put the news out. Thankfully, Ephraim was just arriving via car and after what felt like an age of desperate phone calls trying to direct him to the the correct lake (both of us being new to the site) we finally nailed decent views of it again. It only took a further 5-10 mins for a couple local birders to arrive on the scene, most of whom connected with the bird rather quickly. As the crowd began to swell it eventually decided to take flight and made a high arc over our heads before disappearing into the grounds of the sewage works, a good cue for my brother and I to leave...
Penduline Tit, Meadow Lane Gravel Pit
the beginnings of a swelling crowd
Meadow Lane Gravel Pits