What a day! A Patch Tick at Tower Bridge and a Year Tick at local non-patch Ingrebourne Valley.
First up, and most importantly, a Lunchtime walk round Tower Bridge gave me a Grey Heron in the St. Katherine Docks. Generally Grey Heron is probably to be expected, and I did fully expect to have one fly over at some point if I watched long enough, but this fellow was just standing on some orange ballast about 8 feet from the people walking past. In my experience Herons tend to get flighty if they so much as sniff a person within a hundred yards. This one was close enough that I could get something on my phone camera that actually resembled the bird! Look!
As Mr Lethbridge has repeatedly observed, patch ticks are the best ticks. This made my day.
Which is why a trip to Ingrebourne this evening with the inimitable Parus was going to need to be something pretty special to top it. And it produced. The plan was to go for Grasshopper Warblers, but the thing about plans over the Ingrebourne - the important thing about plans over the Ingrebourne - is that when Parus and I make them they never work. This is why when we left at 5 in the morning to see Barn Owls waaaaaay back before I even had a blog we got soaking wet and headed home Owlless. It probably also explains why on today's trip we didn't hear a peep of Grasshopper Warbler, but I added both Cuckoo and Barn Owl to my year list.
Gropper remains a life-tick-in-waiting, but any day where you see a Barn Owl is a good day.