This weekend I missed a Golden Oriole not far from my place of work in London - only 10 minutes away by underground, followed by a slightly longer walk. The news came in on Friday through the London Birders yahoo group and BirdGuides (see also the Stoke Newington Birds blog) but of course I had to wait until the evening before seeing it – or not, as was the case. The bird had been elusive in oaks around Stoke Newington Reservoirs and didn’t want to show for the latecomers.
Most of Saturday was spent at the computer working on the final stages of the Ayrshire Bird Report 2005. On Sunday, I spent several hours photographing large and easy birds at Walthamstow Reservoirs. There are many fledgling Grey Herons around including one with a deformed beak. At times, when it was feeling especially sorry for itself, it kept hidden in dense, bankside vegetation until a fox surprised it. The heron launched itself into the water in a life-saving bid and the Canada Geese and Mute Swan family joined in the collective mobbing which saw the fox make a hasty retreat. See – Canada Geese are good for something! Also around were Lesser Whitethroat, Hobby, Common Tern, Shelduck and Common Sandpiper. Below is a small selection of photographs.