Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Romance isn't dead at Alexandra lake

As I approached Wanstead's Alexandra pond on my first patch outing of the year I saw three figures standing opposite a clump of leafless willows growing out of the island in the centre of the lake.  It was here that a Yellow-Browed Warbler had been sighted.  Two of the watchers stood silently next to one another, I didn't recognise either.  The third stood a good ten meters to their left, buried in gore tex and so well hidden that I couldn't work out if I knew them or not.  I decided to stand next to the two and make my perfunctory greetings, to which one replied with a grunt and the other made some comment about his toes.  We stood in silence for half an hour before another birdwatcher joined us, another one I didn't recognise.  He too decided to stand with the three of us and the solitary one remained, un-moving, staring at the bushes.  After an hour we were joined by Bob, a face I recognised, and we stared some more, in our little group of five, at the empty willows, Bob and I tried not to talk too much and ruin the atmosphere.  The silent figure, possibly a mannequin, gazed on.  

After more silence, and more staring, one of the original two, the one who had mentioned his toes when I arrived, spoke again.  "Well, I better be getting back to the missus!"  With that he turned around and walked a few steps to stand, in silence, next to the solitary character to our left.

Bob and I then went to look at some other birds and eat bacon.        


  1. A lovely tale. I've always said birdwatching is best enjoyed as a couple.

  2. I'd missed this post, but I remember the circumstances well.