Day 26 of #30DaysWild – another Tuesday, another walk on Hampstead Heath with the Marylebone Birdwatching Society. Different again…
The hot sun had us all in short sleeves (and some in short trousers) and brought out some newcomers and people we’d not seen for a while. One commented on how we so often have to dress for cold and/or wet on these walks. The featured image is of the delightfully shady woodland Meg led us through today.
I left home early enough to walk and get to the meeting point early – so I had time to stop to check out the Cricket Pitch where I saw a Green Woodpecker. We saw a young Great Crested Grebe on the Men’s bathing Pond and the nesting pair on the Model Boating Pond. Heard Wren, Nuthatch, Chiffchaff and Chaffinch. Saw Magpies, Crows, Coots and one Moorhen, Mallard, Mandarin and Tufted Duck, one Mute Swan, one Heron, one Cormorant. In one clump of trees we had Blue, Great, Long-tailed and Coal Tits. I also saw a Treecreeper just after I parted from the group 11.20am along the Lime Avenue.
Having had a look at the Bird Sanctuary Pond Meg led most of the party up to the Kestrel tree. Unsurprisingly the three youngsters were not there this week. The bird I saw fly in was a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a second … turned out to be a Ring-necked Parakeet. But a group of people had stayed looking at the Pond and we were called to hurry back for a KINGFISHER! This was no flash of blue across the water. It remained visibly perched on branches close by. We always hope to see Kingfisher on this pond as our founding president, Kate Springett, persuaded the authorities to create a bank for them to nest in. We’ve had some excellent sightings from here and seen Kingfishers elsewhere too but not this year. They’d not even been seen from the Women’s Pond which is closer to the Kingfisher Bank. We’d just been saying to newcomers and people who’d not been for a while that we’d not seen them. It was indeed someone who can only rarely join us on a Tuesday who spotted this Kingfisher “just sitting there” when 20 of us had failed to see it arrive! Definitely today’s highlight.
I know there are a few June days left and I don’t intend to stop appreciating the “wild” in my life but systematically taking pictures and writing blogs takes time and I must turn my attention to preparing the Marylebone Birdwatching Society programme and other documents for print and digital publication. Last year my blogs petered out Day 11! I just didn’t get round to record several other wild outings that June. This year it’s a deliberate last blog with a Kingfisher providing the grand finale.