Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Walthamstow - Redstarts

Why I decided to take a detour on my way to the reservoirs I'm not really sure but it had been a while since I had visited Walthamstow Marshes, so thought I would drop by to see what was about.  Twice shy about a return visit having been disillusioned by constant harassment from dogs and prurient activities of wanton men, I was put off.

But the habitat here is great for passerines, and at the right moment it can produce migrants of local interest.

It was a lovely sunny morning, welcome respite from the unsettled weather of recent days.  Stopping off at the pedestrian bridge opposite the paddocks, three Little Egret were wading in the shallows of the relief channel.  Viewing the other way, my attention was immediately drawn to a bird that darted out of the trees onto the bank of the channel.  It turned out to be an female/imm type Black Redstart that after feeding for a short while was chased off by a Robin.

The paddocks held a couple of juvenile Pied Wagtail, 15 Linnet, five Common Whitethroat along the hedge-line, Kestrel, and a Sparrowhawk.

Heading towards the central area of the Marsh, a strong 'hueet' uttered from one of the hawthorn bushes.  This caught my attention.  Scanning high on one of the bushes a Common Redstart was seen feeding briefly before flying into another bush providing me with good views of what appeared to be a juvenile bird.

Two species of Redstart in half an hour.  Don't know why I don't come here more often.

Moving onto the reservoirs, a Common Sandpiper flew across No.4 with another along the edge of No.5 feeding with three Grey Wagtail.  An adult Common Gull over No.5 was my first of the autumn.  A Reed Warbler fed along the edge of Coppermill stream.  Around 30+ Common Swift were still around as were 50+ House Martin and a handful of Sand Martin.

A Clouded Yellow flew past in haste alongside No.5.

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