1 December 2012


Let's face it jun November was always going to be a bit of an anti-climax after 3 gold-plated months, and just as it got interesting it turned into December. Visi-migging started the month and visi-migging saw the month out.  In between were wall-to-wall Goldcrests.

Luckily a few of my predictions panned out while others just panned.  Brambling, while not in the numbers I had hoped for, were encountered on around half a dozen days.  I did say Buntings; what I should have said was Reed Buntings. There was no Redpoll invasion anywhere.

There was time for just one more ouzel, but no refugee ducks, and absolutely no interesting gulls. One Water Rail, just outside the permitted zone, some Lapwing and Snipe wader-make-dos, and finally someone was arsed enough to go and look for the Firecrest and found one (well done Josh) - Bush Wood is back on the agenda. Best bird of the month, and one strangely enough predicted, was a fly-quickly-through male Merlin. Meanwhile a pair of Peregrine were seen occupying a pylon by the old pump house in the park, the first time a pair has been seen together, and on the 30th a possible 2 birds were seen chasing one another over the east of the flats.

 There were several bumper days of winter thrush movement when hundreds were counted, and some days passed without any sightings at all, meanwhile Waxwing are coming closer (2 found dead at Snaresbrook School, again). 

The last Blackcap tarried on to the first week, while Chiffchaff remained in the SSSI until the last week, with the last bird singing in Long Wood on the 27th.  Of note Mr Fisher, who rarely can drag himself away from his new patch on Oliver Road, had a Common Whitethroat towards the end of the month, and a possible Marsh Tit at Snaresbrook, so we'll be listening out for sneezing tits from now on...

Whether or not a Yellow-browed Warbler graced the SSSI one Sunday we will never know.  The observers got something with a super and wing-bars, but not definitive views.

A short-list of highlights

  • Merlin
  • Ring Ouzel
  • Bramblings
  • Returning Firecrest and Water Rail

4th November

Wanstead Flats: 10 Gadwall, 10+ Shoveler, f Teal, 2f Pochard, Tufted Duck, 2 Egyptian Goose, Little Grebe, Fieldfare, Mistle Thrush, Siskin, 2 Chaffinch, Goldcrest (Nick Croft).

5th November

Wanstead Flats: 25 Fieldfare, 2 Redwing, 6 Pied Wagtail (incl. 2 possible Alba types), Grey Wagtail, 6 Meadow Pipit, 7 Skylark, 10 + Lesser Redpoll, 20 + Chaffinch, 3 Siskin, 3 Reed Bunting, 6 Shoveler, f Teal, 10 Gadwall, m Pochard, Stock Dove (Jonathan Lethbridge/Bob Vaughan/Nick Croft)

6th November

Wanstead Flats: 650+ Fieldfare (west and north west), 53 Redwing, 400+ Starling (west), 450+ Woodpigeon (south), 60+ Chaffinch, 6 Lesser Redpoll, Siskin, Linnet, 3 Reed Bunting, 4 Lapwing, 10 Goldcrest, 4 Gadwall, 10 Shoveler, 2 f Pochard, f Teal, 2 Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Little Grebe, Heron, 8+ Skylark (north), 6 Meadow Pipit, 4 Pied Wagtail (Nick Croft).

Wanstead Park: 30 Fieldfare, Redwing, 10+ Shoveler, 40+ Pochard, 40+ Gadwall, 50+ Tufted Duck, Kingfisher, Heron, 2 Mistle Thrush, Lesser Redpoll, Siskin (Nick Croft).

7th November

Wanstead Flats: 125 Fieldfare west, 8 Redwing, Chiffchaff (SSSI) and another unidentified phyllosc with prominent supercilium east end of Long Wood, giving only the briefest of head views, 4 Goldcrest, 32 + Chaffinch, 6 Linnet, 5 Lesser Redpoll, Siskin, 2 Reed Bunting, 14 Meadow Pipit, 4 Pied Wagtail, 7 Skylark, 17 Shoveler, 3 Gadwall, 2 Little Grebe, Stock dove, Kesetrel, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)

8th November

Wanstead Flats: Ring Ouzel (TH/NC) very elusive - first in brooms, later in Long Wood, Brambling (SSSI - Jonathan Lethbridge), Long Wood area: 80 + Fieldfare in1 flock going west, 2 Lesser Redpoll, Siskin, 20 + Chaffinch, 2 Linnet, Reed Bunting, f Blackcap, 7 Goldcrest, 10 Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Skylark, 6 Shoveler north, Grey Heron north, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Skylark (Tim Harris/Nick Croft)

9th November

Wanstead Flats: Brambling, 3 Bullfinch, 20+ Chaffinch, 5 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Siskin, 30 Meadow Pipit, 4 Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Snipe, 3 Chiffchaff, 10+ Goldcrest, 2 Fieldfare, Mistle Thrush, Redwing, 16 Shoverler, f Teal, 4 Gadwall, 4 Skylark, Grey Heron, Kestrel (Tony Brown/Nick Croft/Adam visiting American birder).

10th November

Wanstead Flats: 40 Fieldfare, 30 + Blackbird, 10 + Song Thrush, Chifchaff, 10 + Goldcrest, 7 Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, 14 Shoveler (jub), Reed Bunting (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: pr Peregrine on pylon by the old pump house, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Wigeon, 100 + Gadwall, 70 + Tufted Duck, 15 Pochard, 3 m Teal, 28 Shoveler, 2 Egyptian Goose, unidentified small goose east, 5 Little Grebe, juv Great-crested Grebe, 2 Little Egret, 6 Grey Heron, Kingfisher, 73 Fieldfare, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, 2 Bullfinch, 6 Lesser Redpoll, Siskin, 2 Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail (Nick Croft)

11th November

Wanstead Flats: 1+ Brambling with Chaffinch flock, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 8 Siskin - all flyovers (Tony Brown).

12th November

Wanstead Flats: Snipe, 6 Gadwall, 5 Tufted Duck, 12 Shoveler, Little Grebe, Starling (100 feeding Capel Point, 100 west), 18 Fieldfare, 10 Redwing, 10 Song thrush, 5 Skylark, 9 Meadow Pipit, 3 Pied Wagtail, 3 Reed Bunting, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll (Nick Croft).

13th November

Wanstead Flats: Linnet, Lesser Redpoll, Siskin, 50 + Goldfinch, 3 Reed Bunting, 3 Fieldfare, 14 Meadow Pipit, 8 Pied Wagtail, 4 Skylark, Chiffchaff, 10+ Goldcrest, 12 Shoveler, 9 Gadwall, 5 Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, 2 Grey Heron, Kestrel (Nick Croft).

14th November

Wanstead Flats: 3 Chiffchaff, 18+ Goldcrest, 15+ Meadow Pipit, flock of 10 Pied Wagtail (police scrape), 7 Mitle Thrush, 6 Fieldfare, 15 Shoveler, 8 Tufted Duck, pr Pochard, 9 Gadwall, Little Grebe, 6 Siskin, Reed Bunting, 3 Grey Heron, Kestrel (Nick Croft) Unconfirmed report of Yellow-browed Warbler in the SSSI on Sunday

16th November

Wanstead Flats: 6 Reed Bunting, 3 Chiffchaff, 15 Goldcrest, Grey Wagtail, Skylark, Redwing, Common Snipe, Kestrel (Nick Croft).

Wanstead Park: 30 Shoveler, 20+ Gadwall, Pochard, Lesser Redpoll, 10+ Goldcrest (Nick Croft).

19th November
Wanstead Flats: m Merlin high and fast over flats east, 2-4 Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel, Snipe (SSSI), Little Egret east, then presumed same bird west and north over Bush Wood, Grey Heron, 20+ Goldfinch, Linnet, 2 Siskin, 2 Lesser Redpoll, Chiffchaff, 5+ Goldcrest, 6 Gadwall, 9 Shoveler, 2 Little Grebe, 6+ Skylark, 15+ Meadow Pipit, 6 Pied Wagtail, 6 Redwing, 20+ Fieldfare, 4 Mistle Thrush (Nick Croft)

20th November

Wanstead Flats: 3 Chiffchaff, c. 20 Goldcrest, 20+ Redwing, Fieldfare, 3 Lesser Redpoll, 20+ Goldfinch, 5 Gadwall, pr Teal, 12 Shoveler, Kestrel (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 50+ Gadwall, c. 30 Shoveler, 2 Egyptian Goose, 50+ Tufted Duck and no Pochard on Heronry, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, 10+ Goldcrest (Nick Croft)

22nd November

Wanstead Flats: 35 Fieldfare east, 4 Redwing, 2 Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrest, 50 + Goldfinch, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Meadow Pipit, 3 Pied Wagtail, 3 Skylark, Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, 15 Shoveler, 10 Gadwall, 4 Tufted Duck, Little Grebe (Nick Croft)

23rd November

Wanstead Flats: 14 Fieldfare east, 2 Redwing, 21 + Meadow Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail, 2 Chiffchaff, 14 + Goldcrest, 5 Reed Bunting, Linnet, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 4 Egyptian Goose, 12 Gadwall, 13 Tufted Duck, 11 Shoveler, 4 Stock Dove, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 12 + Goldcrest, 2 Grey Wagtail, 41 Tufted Duck, 60 Gadwall, 20 Shoveler, 3 Teal, 1 f Pochard, 2 Egyptian Goose, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, 3 Little Grebe, m Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)

25th November

Wanstead Flats: 13 Shoveler, 8 Gadwall, 3 Tufted Duck, m Teal, 2 Egyptian Goose, Little Grebe, Redwing, 3 Mistle Thrush, 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, 3 Goldcrest (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: Water Rail (manor park allotments south end of old sewage works), 3 Kingfisher, 38 Shoveler, 5 Pochard, 58 Tufted Duck, 2 pr of Teal, 45 Gadwall, 3 Little Grebe, 3 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Siskin, 14 + Goldcrest (Nick Croft)

26th November

Wanstead Flats: 25 Redwing south, 7 Shoveler, 2 Common Pochard, 7 Tufted Duck, 6 Gadwall, 5 Meadow Pipit, 2 Great Black-backed Gull (Nick Croft).

27th November

Wanstead Flats: 8 Fieldfare sw, 6 Mistle Thrush, 10 + Song Thrush (several singing), 2 Chiffchaff (1 singing), 8 + Goldcrest, 30 + Goldfinch, 7 Reed Bunting, 12 Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylark, upside down flying Snipe sp., 9 Tufted Duck, 3 Pochard, 8 Shoveler, 20 Gadwall, Little Grebe, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)

28th November

Wanstead Flats: 3 Lesser Redpoll, 13 Meadow Pipit, 2 Fieldfare, 11 Shoveler, 4 Tufted Duck, 11 Gadwall, Little Grebe, 5 + Goldcrest, 2 Sparrowhawk, Kestrel (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 115 + Gadwall, 55 + Tufted Duck, 20 Shoveler, 15 + Pochard, 2 Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, 2 Kingisher, 40 + Fieldfare (north), 10 + Goldcrest, 5 + Lesser Redpoll (Tony Brown/Nick Croft)

29th November

Wanstead Flats: Brambling, singing Chaffinch, 4 Reed Bunting, 61 Fieldfare, 10 Redwing, 10 + Song Thrush, 2 Mistle Thrush, 8 Meadow Pipit, 3 Pied Wagtail, 6 Goldcrest, 11 Gadwall, 17 Shoveler, Little Grebe, Stock Dove, 2 Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 3 Common Snipe (Nick Croft)

30th November

Wanstead Flats: 57 Fieldfare, 10 Redwing, 9 Mistle Thrush, 7 Blackbirds (north), 3 Brambling, 3 Linnet, 2 Siskin, 4 Lesser Redpoll, 20 + Goldfinch, 2 Reed Bunting, 3 Goldcrest, Stock Dove, 2 Skylark, 3 Meadow Pipit, 10 Gadwall, 12 Shoveler, 8 Greylag east along Aldersbrook Rd c. 07:45, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: Bush Wood: Firecrest, 10 + Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Coal Tit.  Park: Siskin, 5 Redwing, Mistle Thrush, 43 Gadwall, 50 + Tufted Dck, 30 + Pochard, 13 Shoveler, 2 Little Grebe (Nick Croft)

The month's full list

Black Headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser BB Gull, Herring Gull, Great BB Gull, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Mistle Thrush, Redwing, Ring Ouzel, Robin, Song Thrush, Brambling, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Lesser Redpoll, Linnet, Siskin, Reed Bunting, Coot, Moorhen, Water Rail, Cormorant, Dunnock, Goldcrest, Firecrest, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Grn Woodpecker, Heron, Little Egret, House Sparrow, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Jay, Magpie, Long-Tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Ring Necked Parakeet, Skylark, Lapwing, Snipe, Kestrel, Merlin, Sparrowhawk, Peregrine Falcon, Starling, Collared Dove, Feral Dove, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Mute Swan, Egyptian Goose, Gadwall, Mallard, Pochard, Teal, Tufted Duck, Shoveler, Wigeon, Wren, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Kingfisher, Nuthatch 

68 Flats: 60 Park: 76 Total

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