Thursday, 16 October 2014

Bring out the Bunting

I was just packed and ready to hit the patch this morning, when a well timed check of twitter brought some surprising news - Lapland Bunting at Wanstead Flats! Showing in grass near Alexandra Pond.  Well... I didn't go to the patch.  With our direction turned to Wanstead we made haste. A twenty minute walk later and I realised this wasn't going to be all that easy.  There was really rather a large amount of grass. Long, long grass.  After rather pointlessly staring into the grass, a bird started circling, expecting a mipit I pointed the camera its way.  I'm not sure I've ever been more delighted to be wrong - I was watching a Lapland Bunting!  It circled a few more times then dropped down into the middle of the field.  Buzzing with excitement we joined another birder and again, began hopelessly searching for it in the grass. And so progressed the afternoon, with a couple more brief flight views of this delightful little bird.  There ended up being seven of us looking for it, yet still we could not pin its location on the ground. With little happening it ended up just being four of us left searching for it. Again we had brief views as it flew in the direction of the ditch it was originally reported from but alas, despite scrutiny of every patch of grass it could not be found. A master of disguise.
 I'd seen it, and got a few poor shots of it in flight, that was good enough for me! So we started to leave, that's when it showed up darting down into the grass. Backtracking, we began again scanning the grass, but this time it paid dividends, I spotted it a few metres away. What a beautiful bird!  I managed to grab a couple of record shots before it flew off and began circling again calling as it went. It showed on the ground a couple more times before heading for the other side of the field.
 Fantastic views of a fantastic bird, and my second lifer in less than twenty-four hours. Happy?  That sounds about right...

1 comment:

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