Saturday 31st March
Today was my first count day since starting back on the patch in earnest a few days ago. I had no idea what the numbers were going to look like, but I figured it would be fun to find out. Decided to adopt my old approach and start at the Eastern Reedbed and Mill Brook Pool (aka 'the lagoon'... NO! I still refuse to call it such!!), nip into Pumphouse Pool, hit Birchwood Pool, shoot past Lapwing Lake then drive to the black and yellow gate via Upper Moss Side and walk to Halfway House.
Eastern Reedbed 15:32...bit overcast and cooler than I'd hoped.
There was already another birder there...chap called Mark I learned a little later. Who proceeded to show me some rather nice digital snaps of the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker on his dead tree and the Ring Ousel, which apparently was still loitering among the gorse opposite the piers (it was later too, see Noodle Park). Anyway, we chatted a bit...he'd had maybe 4-5 pairs of Little Grebe on the ERB just before I arrive (eight of them together at one point), so I did a quick count.
2M Mallard, 3 Coot, pr Mute Swan (probably nesting already at the back of the reeds), 5pr + 1M Tufted Duck, 2M Pochard (the F had been about earlier), 2pr Little Grebe, 1pr, 1trio Canada Geese and a Juv + Ad Grey Heron. Songsters: Chiffchaff, Wren, Robin, Blackbird
Millbrook Pool 15:35
2juv Grey Heron, pr Oystercatcher, prLapwing, 3pr Gadwall, 1M Mallard, pr+1M Teal, 4 Coot, 10 Canada Geese (one by downy nest on the island), 1F Tufted Duck
Pumphouse Pool 15:48... F**k me the water is high, no rocks showing, no banks for ducks to loaf on, no muddy margings for feeding. Dead. Somebody needs to yank the plug and let some water out!!!
11 Coot, 3pr Gadwall
Black Fields Diggings 15:57... wow they have done some work here...BIG holes and dry flat areas. Shame use to be nice and muddily waderish...
pr Gadwall, 1M Mallard, 3 Pied Wagtail
Lapwing Lake...a little later... after skipping Birchwood Pool in favour of a north margin yomp (see Noodle Park). And who should I bump into but young Mullholland...cue catch up and birding banter. Good stuff. Lakewise tho...not a whole lot...
3M Mallard, 1 Canada Goose, 4 Coot, 2 Gadwall, 2 Little Grebe, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Moorhen, 1 juv Grey Heron
Well after a while I head to the northern fringe and thence to Halfway House picking up the Ring Ousel tucked under a gorse on the way. Decide to try out the voice recorder on my phone as I arrive. WTF? The place is dead... so I try to record this event on my HTC. Thing is there's also a voice recognition thingy on my phone that allows you to label your sound files without having to type stuff in and I hit the wrong button and label the file with my ramblings about there not being a sausage here. Well, the voice recognition system kicked in and aptly turned my words into text and labelled the file accordingly. Voice 'recognition' ???... yeah, if you're Yoda on crack!!! It came up with "I'm convinced sausage with vintage womens just like these devon street east total absence" Well it made me giggle. Here you go... challenge dear reader... complete this sentence...prize for the best answer.
"I'm convinced sausage with vintage womens..."
Anyway, it got me thinking bout the nature of sausage and birds or rather lack thereof and I got kinda philosophical for a bit and my mind drifted to Walter Bishop and how he would explain it all...
maybe something like this:
"I posit that the word SAUSAGE is just a socially constructed concept contrived entirely to permit the existence of the anti-sausage... Yes... In other words Asterix.... without SAUSAGE, there could be no ABSENCE of sausage... Hm"
Think he's right, coz there's not a sausage at Halfway House this evening!