Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Walthamstow Marshes

On Sunday, this happened;

  • Walthamstow Marshes: Riding stables, front paddocks - Pied Flycatcher, 2+ Spotted Flycatcher, favouring Western side of paddocks either side of the track running East-West between them. A few Chiffchaffs and Blackcap. Rear paddocks - 2 Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail. Bomb crater field - 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 Whinchat, 4 Pheasant. North marsh - 2 Blackcap, Reed Warbler, 5 Swallow SW. (Paul Whiteman, Graham Howie, Su Huckle, JW Davies). 3 Spotted Flycatcher still present in front paddocks 16.00 plus 2 Wheatear still (Lol Bodini/Stuart Fisher).
  • Walthamstow Res: Black-necked Grebe West Warwick (per Pete Lambert). BNG still present this evening in NE cnr. (Paul Whiteman) 3 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Common Sandpipers Lockwood. 2 Spotted Flycatchers together bushes NW corner of Lockwood, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, bushes NE Lockwood, Kingfisher Lower Maynard (David Bradshaw)

...and the rest of London went bonkers with the number of migrants that had dropped in looking more like a coastal site than our capital city.  Of course I was no where near this carnage.  I was out spending the day with friends, and I wouldn't have had it any other way.  Erm...... anyway...

Today, I was able to have my fill.

A warm sunny morning and with light easterlies, it felt good for something.  Heading up to the paddocks, I noticed an unusual chat-like bird flying across the paddocks that on landing turned into a Spotted Flycatcher.

Over the Marshes, there was real evidence of significant Swallow migration, a bird I had failed to see all summer.  Pulses of small flocks were heading over, one of which had a late Common Swift for company.  A couple of Meadow Pipit also flew through, a first for the autumn.

Large groups of House Martin chattered as they flew high overhead.  A Willow Warbler sang in horseshore thicket, and down Track 13, three Lesser Whitethroat were enjoying the sunshine with another Willow Warbler, five Blackcap, three Chiffchaff, and two Common Whitethroat.

Heading back to the paddocks, I have recently discovered migrants having made a second visit.  This time, a Yellow Wagtail flew low over.  Along the horse riding track a Common Redstart then flicked out catching a fly before returning back to its perch.  It then called twice before disappearing.

I then decided to move onto the Waterworks.  The old pitch and putt has looked good for chats, and my first sighting today were of two Whinchat, a male and a juvenile bird.  A single Meadow Pipit flew over and Swallow continued to dash through with around 60 birds counted throughout the morning.

It was warming up, it felt good for raptors.  I camped out in the 'circle' at the Waterworks and then watched in a single hour a total of 13 Common Buzzard soar high over in groups of four, two, then a single bird followed by another single, then a group of five right overhead.  A new experience for me on the patch.  Four Sparrowhawk were also enjoying the warm conditions.

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