|Egyptian Goose: East India Dock Basin, 10/03/2013|
It was one of those bitterly cold mornings that March can sometimes pull out of the bag, just when you think that winter is over it's back in your face with interest. I wasn't expecting too much this morning, a lethal north-easterly was blowing right through me and the thought of a hot coffee in the Esso garge was eminently more appealing than a circuit of the patch. I arrived at the basin to find it reasonably devoid of wildfowl with just two Shelduck, three Common Teal and 20 Tufted Duck the only notables, then I saw a movement in the reeds and before I could turn it into the much anticipated Bittern it swam out and revealed itself as an Egyptian Goose, only the third site record following on from a single on March 28th 2010 and two on August 22nd 2010. The pair of Shelduck started to display and the Egyptian Goose decided to join in, regaling them with a full suite of truly horrible vocals, (a couple of weeks ago I had a flock of nine Egyptian Geese fly over my head in south London making a sound that I could only describe as the sky throwing up). Apart from this much welcome year tick it was pretty much business as usual with more wildfowl coming onto the basin on the rising tide I finished up with 9 Shelduck, 296 Common Teal (77 on the basin, the rest on Bow Creek) and 20 Tufted Duck. The wader roost held seven Redshank and three Common Sandpiper with another one further downstream. It was very quiet on the passerine front with just an incessantly calling Chiffchaff at the basin the only bird of interest.