Monday, February 24, 2014

Mid morning ramble

Is it really still February?  This time last year we were freezing our brass monkies off.  The contrast couldn't be more meteorologically opposed.  It was indeed a lovely morning to be on the move again, albeit slowly as the rehabilitation to full health continues.  First stop, the front paddocks at Walthamstow Marshes with 2 flyover Common Gulls, a Reed Bunting calling, 3 Mistle Thrushes, and small flocks of Goldfinch, Greenfinch, and Chaffinch, all either singing or calling, undoubtedly enjoying the warmth of the sun and the soft southerly breeze.

Waterworks NR, a short walk across the Lea Bridge Road, and a welcome oasis from the clamor of traffic and industry.  Bird song everywhere.  At least two Chiffchaff singing with a total of four noted.  From the hide overlooking the pool on the right, a Kingfisher called and flew into the trees where it perched briefly before calling again heading over the reserve.  Two Little Grebe and two Shoveler were also present.

Eight Tufted Duck inc. 5 drakes were present on the large pond with a total count of 26 Teal from the other hides.  A Grey Wagtail flew over as did a single Common Gull and Jackdaw.  A Kestrel was in attendance for much of the time hovering and soaring.  It felt like a raptor day today but this was the only return.  A Small Tortoiseshell flew along the main path and came to rest taking in the warmth of the sun. The first butterfly sighting of the year.

Small Tortoiseshell - Waterworks NR

Walking out of the reserve, a calling Meadow Pipit flew over the old pitch and putt area.

Following the path into Middlesex Filter Beds, Chiffchaff were again very much in evidence with at least two singing and 4-5 noted all along the river where the Firecrest was once again picked up relatively quickly this time appearing to be the female, showing well as it fed amongst the trees on the far side of the relief channel. A pair of Grey Wagtail actively fed along the river edge and there were small numbers of Little Grebe and Teal.

Crocus in bloom on the Pembury Estate, Hackney Downs

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