Another year done and the annual appraisal shows that we did worse than last year and therefore much worse than the year before, but for all that it was a brilliant year. OK December, June, July and November were a tad shit, but you can't have everything.
Highlights of the month
- Brent Goose leaves it late
- Waxwings at last, as predicted, phew!
- Firecrest, two but could be more
- Tawny Owls start calling from the golf course if you can brave Reservoir Wood at night
- Woodcock on occasion
- Brambling just the 4
- Another heard only Ringed Plover
- Tim scores with Med Gull over the Roding
- Little Owl retrospectively added to list from reports of it calling from around Christmas day onwards
Having said December was a tad shit, I must apologise to December, it wasn't that bad. With a couple of hundred Lapwing thrown in, I reckon that makes them one of Wanstead's commonest birds since we've had about 1,000 birds flop over this year.
Interestingly, to me if no-one else, the Brent took just about the same line as the last one as it hurried across the flats. Gadwall numbers were on the up with over 200 birds counted, when the basin was included. The juv. Wigeon lingered till the end of the month, but had an amazing knack of not being seen. Teal numbers remained low, likewise Pochard never reached the numbers of the Autumn.
The wet conditions were loved by the gulls, with hundreds on each of the playing field areas, the police scrape and the newly floody bits of the golf course, the mild weather associated with the wet weather even brought out a few bats. The water levels though have driven off the Egret and the murky waters the Kingfisher.
No Chiffies this year have braved our winter (last one seen around the 4th), though one Blackcap was seen in a private garden - they are about it's just finding them.
Gary, a local to the flats picked up the calling Little Owl before the new year when it eventually showed itself, I am still having it as a self-found (not that I need it). Good to finally catch up with the Tawnys again though.
Fewer Siskin and Lesser Redpoll this year, which could be down to the weather or to the lack of seeds on the birches. One day of Brambling, a 4 bird flyover. Goldfinches in large parties are becoming a regular sight, while going in the opposite direction are sightings of Greenfinch. The Bullfinch are back in the Old Sewage Works, but not a sign of any Linnet.
Finally the Waxwing came and went straight through. We still have hopes that one day they will find the remaining trees and bushes with berries and give a photo op, or its down to Tescos.
Snipe are back in the SSSI with 2 birds at most, though I did catch 5 in flight as I hung around Westmoreland Drive on the lookout for Waxies. Another Ring Plover, heard only and again just about where the other one I heard was - Capel Point. With Woodcock back on the patch, I suspect they are using the little woodland at the bottom of the City of London Cemetery as it's the quietest place.
Firecrests, harder to find this year and spread across the patch. Was the Alex bird the one Jono found a few months back, and how many there are still to be found is a question hopefully January will have the answers to.
The mild weather also started a spate and a state of lurv, with birds singing and displaying all over the shop. The colder weather will soon put a stop to that nonsense.
And finally the other stuff...
Wanstead Flats: Woodcock, 14 Lesser Redpoll, Linnet, 6 Meadow Pipit, 10 Goldcrest, 10 Song Thrush, 1 Fieldfare, 3 Reed Bunting, Kestrel, 3 Shoveler south (Tim Harris/Nick Croft/Steve Thorpe).
Wanstead Park: Firecrest Bush Wood (TH), 20 + Goldcrest, Coal Tit, 75 Tufted Duck, 56 Gadwall, 31 Common Pochard, 4 Teal, 27 Shoveler, Little Grebe, 10+ Siskin, 5 Lesser Redpoll, 300+ Carrion Crow in roost on golf course north of Heronry, 40+ Magpies (Tim Harris/Nick Croft/Jonathan Lethbridge).
Wanstead Flats: Ringed Plover heard flying south over Capel Point c7:30, 21 Lapwing north, 17 Redwing, 24 Fieldfare, 14 Meadow Pipit, 2 Skylark, 2 Lesser Redpoll, Siskin, Reed Bunting, 5 Goldcrest, 2 Stock Dove, Great Black-backed Gull, Sparrowhawk, 5 Gadwall, 3 Shoveler (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Park: Firecrest (Bush Wood), 10 + Goldcrest, m Blackcap, Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Kingfisher, Water Rail, Little Egret, 5 Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, 160 Gadwall (100 + on the Basin), Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Bullfinch, 2 Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft/Steve Thorpe)
Wanstead Flats: Woodcock NE from SSSI, Brambling, 8 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Reed Bunting, 18 Redwing, 5 Meadow Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail, 2 Grey Wagtail, 1-2 Chiffchaff, 10+ Goldcrest, 9 Gadwall, 11 Shoveler (Nick Croft).
Wanstead Park: 107 Gadwall (the Basin), 20 Pochard, 10+ Shoveler, 2 Little Grebe (Tim Harris).
Wanstead Flats: 10 Shoveler, 11 Gadwall, 7 Mistle Thrush, 20 Fieldfare, 31 Redwing, 7 Meadow Pipit, 3 Pied Wagtail, 4 Stock Dove, 62 Jackdaw in one flock, 40+ Goldfinch, Siskin, 5 Reed Bunting, 2-3 Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel, Chiffchaff, 5+ Goldcrest (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Park: Nuthatch Bush Wood (Tim Harris), f/juv Wigeon, 10+ Lesser Redpoll and Siskin (Tony Brown), 37 Common Pochard, 40+ Gadwall, 50+ Tufted Duck, 10+ Shoveler, Water Rail, 5 Goldcrest, 3 Redwing (Nick Croft).
Wanstead Flats: Firecrest (Alex scrub), 3 Goldcrest, 9 Redwing south, 2 Fieldfare south, Skylark, 8 Meadow Pipit, 5 Gadwall, 7 Shoveler, Reed Bunting (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Flats: Firecrest (Alex), 4 Goldcrest, 6 Fieldfare, 9 Redwing, 2 Skylark, 7 Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting, 7 Gadwall, 7 Shoveler (Nick Croft/Josh)
Wanstead Park: 23 Pochard, 30 Tufted Duck, 41 Gadwall, 12 Shoveler, 3 Little Grebe, 30 + Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Kingfisher, Water Rail, Fieldfare, 3 Redwing, Kestrel (Nick Croft/Josh)
Wanstead Flats: 3 Fieldfare, Redwing, 2 Mistle Thrush, 4 Meadow Pipit, 4 Shoveler, 2 Egyptian Goose, Kestrel, 33 Goldfinch, 3 Goldcrest (Jubilee-SSSI-Long Wood) (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Park: Bush Wood - Woodcock (Steve Thorpe)
Wanstead Park and Flats: Woodcock SSSI, f Teal (Jub), Coal Tit (Bush Wood), 110 Gadwall (The Basin) (Steve Thorpe)
Wanstead Flats: 31 Lapwing west, 3 Reed Bunting, Siskin, 13 Fieldfare, Redwing, 7 Goldcrest, 7 Shoveler, 4 Meadow Pipit, 3 Pied Wagtail, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Park: 155 Gadwall (125 on Basin - SF), 46 Tufted Duck, 12 Shoveler, 22 + Mute Swan, 20 Pochard, Teal, Siskin, 4 Fieldfare, 7 Goldcrest, Kestrel (Nick Croft/Stuart Fisher)
Wanstead Flats: 54 Lapwing NW, 46 Fieldfare, 16 Redwing, 12 Meadow Pipit, 4 Skylark, 4 Brambling north, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, 20 + Goldfinch, 7 Goldcrest, 5 Shoveler, 6 Pochard, Kestrel, 2 Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Park: 52 Gadwall, 60 Tufted Duck, Wigeon, 3 Teal, 30 Pochard, 13 Shoveler, 2 Egyptian Goose, Water Rail, Grey Wagtail, 10 + Siskin, singing Coal Tit, 3 Mistle Thrush, 2 Goldcrest (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Flats: Firecrest (in woodland to north of Alex), 3 Goldcrest, 41 Lapwings west (19 on deck north of Long Wood), 7 Meadow Pipit, 3 Pochard, 6 Gadwall, Reed Bunting, Redwing (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Park: 47 Gadwall, 37 Tufted Duck, 24 Pochard, 10 Shoveler, 2 Egyptian Goose, Siskin, 3 Redwing, Fieldfare (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Village: Waxwing (Jono Lethbridge).
Wanstead Flats: 20 Lapwing (17 west, 3 north), 4 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing, 4 Mitle Thrush, 2 Reed Bunting, 4 Goldcrest, 10 Tufted Duck, 2 Gadwall, 3 Shoveler, 6 Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Kestrel (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Park: 5 Snipe north, Water Rail, 52 Gadwall, 30 + Tufted Duck, 33 Pochard, 11 Shoveler, 23 Mute Swan, Little Grebe, 4 Redwing, 4 Goldcrest, Lesser Redpoll (Nick Croft)
Wanstead (private garden): 1f Blackcap, 2f Siskin (Chris Legge).
Wanstead Park: Wigeon (ornamental waters), 2 Teal, 91 Gadwall, 6 Shoveler, 60+ Tufted Duck, 13 Pochard, 2 Egyptian Goose, c10 Goldcrest, 2 Nuthatch, Siskin, Stock Dove, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft).
Wanstead Flats: 12 Waxwing south down Centre Road (NC/JL), Siskin, Reed Bunting, 5 Meadow Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail, 3 Goldcrest, Stock Dove, 16 Shoveler, 11 Gadwall, 5 Tufted Duck, Kestrel (Nick Croft/Jonathan Lethbridge)
Wanstead Flats: 6 Mistle Thrush, 5 Redwing, 6 Meadow Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail, Lesser Redpoll, 13 Goldfinch, Reed Bunting, 8 Shoveler, Goldcrest (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Park: Water Rail (W end of Perch), Lesser Redpoll, Siskin, Little Grebe, 2 Teal, 44 + Tufted Duck, 64 + Gadwall, 3 Shoveler, 18 Pochard (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Flats: 6 Mistle Thrush, Redwing, Fieldfare, 10 Meadow Pipit, 5 Pied Wagtail, 40 + Goldfinch, Reed Bunting, 13 Shoveler, 5 Pochard, 14 Gadwall, 8 Tufted Duck, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Flats: 3 Meadow Pipit, 2 Egyptian Goose, 7 Tufted Duck, 2 Pochard, Goldcrest, 4 Stock Dove (Nick Croft).
Wanstead Park: 50 Gadwall, 14 Pochard, 43 Tufted Duck, 7 Shoveler, 2 Egyptian Goose, 4 Lesser Redpoll, Bullfinch, 2 Pied Wagtail, Goldcrest, Redwing (Nick Croft).
Wanstead Flats: Snipe, 2 Sparrowhawk, 4 Shoveler, 2 Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Heron, 2 Goldcrest (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Park: 43 Gadwall, 81 Tufted Duck, 16 Pochard, 6 Shoveler, m Teal, 2 Egyptian Goose, 2 Little Grebe, 4 Goldcrest, Siskin, 2 Bullfinch, Water Rail, Sparrowhawk having a pop at a bat-shaped bird, or a bird-shaped bat in the gloaming (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Flats: c. 1-2,000 gulls on playing fields and police scrape: predominantly Black-headed Gulls and Common Gulls, with a few Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Herring Gulls in the mix, 4 Common Pochard, 2 Shoveler, Tufted Duck (Jub), 2 Reed Bunting, Goldcrest, Kestrel, 3 Mistle Thrush (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Park: 1,300 Black-headed Gull north towards dark, with a few larger gulls (mainly Herring Gull), Ilford Golf Course as viewed from the Old Sewage Works, 2 Pipistrelle bats, c. 200 Gadwall (150 + on basin), c. 100 Tufted Duck, 15 Pochard, 5 Shoveler, 5 Little Grebe, 3 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Bullfinch, 4 Goldcrest, Nutchatch, Tawny Owl calling in Reservoir Wood at 17:30 (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Park: Adult Med Gull over Roding (Tim Harris)
Wanstead (private garden): Grey Wagtail (enjoying the scrape which has formed on the lawn), 5 Siskins (Chris Legge)
Wanstead Flats: c 15 Waxwing near SSSI (Bob Vaughan), 1600 assorted gulls near Alex (Tim Harris)
Wanstead Flats: Common Snipe, 19 Gadwall, m Teal, 10 Tufted Duck, 7 Common Pochard, 4 Shoveler, 23 Greylag Goose, 19 Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, 3 Skylark, Redwing, 3 Goldcrest, 2 Stock Dove, c. 1,500 + gulls on the flooded parts, Kestrel (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Park: Little Egret, 2 Grey Heron, 45 Gadwall, 10 Pochard, 124 Tufted Duck, 5 Shoveler, 2 Little Grebe, 8 Lesser Redpoll, 5 Stock Dove, 2 Sparrowhawk, Goldcrest (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Flats: 35 Gadwall (Alex), 2000+ Gulls on Flats (Tim Harris)
Wanstead Park: Little Egret (Roding), Gadwall displaying on Heronry (Tim Harris)
Wanstead Flats: Brent Goose east over police scrape, 45 Gadwall (15 north), 16 Tufted Duck, 6 Shoveler, and Firecrest (north of Alex in woodland singing subsong) possibly 2 birds, 6 Goldcrest, 1000 + gulls including 35 + Lesser Black-backed Gull, 20 + Herring Gull, Reed Bunting, Common Snipe (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Park: probable Firecrest (Reservoir Wood), 6 Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Siskin, 2 Great-crested Grebe, 3 Little Grebe, c. 218 Gadwall, 70 Tufted Duck, 5 Pochard, 14 Shoveler, 4 Teal, 10 + Stock Dove (Nick Croft).