Well there I was, tap-tapping away in the office, just about to get ready to go, when the phone rang. Mike had thoughtfully dashed back to phone with the news that male Garganey and a pair of Wigeon were at SLRS!
I was out the door and on the train in no time. As we went at a snail’s pace up the Lee Valley I received a volley of texts and calls from Steve. As we waited outside Waltham Cross the bird was showing really well - no really really well. As we steamed through Roydon, it was out in the open with fantastic light, close in, just about the best views you could ever get, and as we crawled achingly past Beckingham Palace Kevin was taking pictures with his camera.
And then as we rounded the bend and SLRS hove into view, it was gone. The train slowly trundled passed an empty scrape and, on the far shore, 6 happy birders (well 5, as Mark had turned up in time to see the others peering into the distance).
I popped down briefly before going to an appointment. The male Wigeon was terrific - a cracking male. There were Gadwall, Teal, Mallards, and baby Mallards and Cootlings, and a GSW drummed behind me. In the evening sun the scrape was a beautiful sight. But not quite as beautiful as it might have been.
The paradox with the site is that its too small to hold birds for any length of time, but if it was any bigger it would be a proper birding site, and not our own little puddle with amazing birds.
So roll on the next wave of migrants to push through here.
Kevin has kindly sent over a couple of photos - heavily cropped etc.
I feel sick.