|Pintail at East India Dock Basin, 9/2/2012|
An unexpected chance to make a visit to the patch on a weekday paid big dividends, as soon as I got a view of the basin I knew I had a very good chance of breaking the site record count of Common Teal; the 7 metre plus tide had finally put some water in the basin, and it was covered with Teal, I conservatively counted 250 and hurriedly made for Bow Creek where I had in excess of 210, more than 460, then first count of 500 cannot be too far away. Other wildfowl included a pair of Gadwall, (new for the year), the overwintering female Pintail, two Greylag Geese, seven Canada Geese, 16 Shelduck and ten Tufted Duck. On first inspection the wader roost was deserted but I found ten Redshank roosting on the Pura Foods peninsula along with two Common Sandpiper, another two were in the roost on the way back, which led to a return to the peninsula where the original two were still in situ, four is a very good winter count but then I found another three roosting on a pontoon on the last meander, a quick check of the other two roosts confired that they were still occupied. Three Reed Buntings picked up on call flying north over the basin provided some passerine interest but finch numbers at the feeding station seem to have dropped, not a bad return for an ad hoc visit, I should do this more often.