Well that could have been worse, but with two new birds and returning birds, there was always something, providing you could find it.
- A week's worth of listening to Mealy Redpoll in Shetland pays dividends with confirmation that we do have them occasionally on the patch
- Mediterranean Gulls: two first winter jobs on one day and the adult lingering by the alex for most of the month
- Yellow-legged Gull: just the one this month
- Treecreeper return to Bush Wood. Forget about the strange sounds one has been uttering, the first birds for two years and brilliant.
- Firecrest also returned to Bush Wood. Only two so far...
- Water Rail back on Shoulder of Mutton. Two birds that can be coaxed into a sharming showdown
- Woodcock: two sightings of yet another returning winter bird
With pretty mild weather for much of November, visi-miging didn't really kick-off at all, with the exception of large movements of Wood Pigeon through in the early hours. Redwing and Fieldfare were few, and finch movement all but dried up. It's noticeable that while there have been more Redpoll kicking around, including the Mealy, Siskins haven't moved in any numbers at all. None were reported in the park and just a few singles over the flats.
Other thrush numbers varied from day to day. On the 25th appropriately there were 25 Song Thrush kicking around the flats including a number of singers, Blackbird numbers also peaked at over 40, but then the next day you may be hard pressed to find any. Chiffchaff hung on through the month with a couple of birds reported calling on the flats, just the one Blackcap though at the beginning of the month. Goldcrest numbers still haven't troubled the scorers yet, but that's probably down to the mild weather.
Skylarks are favouring the police scrape with a growing number of Linnet for company, one day there will be a Lapland Bunting or interesting finch in with them. While Skylark numbers are pretty static at around 12 birds or more, Meadow Pipit are fewer and spread between Angel, the police scrape and the odd one or two around Angel in the pub scrub.
The police scrape also draws in the Pied Wagtail in a pre-roost get together before they hoof it to Wanstead. Fewer Greys this month and after another bio-blitz by the corporation, fewer Reed Bunting too. In fact its getting worse for these birds and numbers are way down.
No big raptors, though Josh got a Tawny Owl in Long Wood, early one morning before day break. So it's basically duck time. The importance of the patch for wintering Gadwall could be reinforced in the next WEBs count, with numbers already pushing the 200 mark across the patch. A couple of Wigeon sightings and a smattering of Teal, and the return of good numbers of Pochard mean its worthwhile checking the park again.
Wanstead Flats: Lesser Redpoll, Linnet, Reed Bunting, 6 Redwing, singing Song Thrush, Blackcap, 4 Teal, 5 Shoveler, 10 Gadwall, 5 Tufted Duck, 5 Little Grebe, Grey Wagtail, 2 Pied Wagtail, 8 Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylark, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Flats: 9 Teal, 18 Gadwall, 3 Shoveler, 5 Tufted Duck, 4 Little Grebe, 10+ Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, 3 Skylark, 11 Lesser Redpoll, 5 Chaffinch, Fieldfare, 7+ Song Thrush, 20+ Blackbird, 5 Mistle Thrush (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Park: 50+ Gadwall, 40+ Tufted Duck, 20 Pochard, 4 Shoveler, 6 Little Grebe, Pied Wagtail (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Flats: 2 Mealy Redpoll over SSSI, 5 Lesser Redpoll, 7 Linnet, 5 Fieldfare, 2 Redwing, 30+ Blackbird, Mediterranean Gull, 41 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, f Pochard, 13 Tufted Duck, Sparrowhawk, Chiffchaff, 10+ Meadow Pipit, 7 Pied Wagtail, 3 Skylark (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Flats: 2 1st-winter Mediterranean Gull, ad Yellow-legged Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, 9+ Lesser Redpoll, Linnet, 2 Chiffchaff, Stock Dove, 7+ Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, 2 Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylark, 5 Shoveler, 10+ Gadwall (Wanstead Birders).
Wanstead Flats: adult Mediterranean Gull, Snipe, 2500+ Woodpigeon SW, 300+ Starling W, 18 Meadow Pipit, 5 Pied Wagtail, 3 Skylark, 2 Reed Bunting, 10+ Chaffinch, Goldcrest, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 2+ Siskin, 30+ Goldfinch incl flock of 26, Linnet, 10+ Song Thrush, 16 Fieldfare, 16 Redwing, 5 Mistle Thrush, Chiffchaff, 12 Gadwall, 6 Shoveler, Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel (Tony Brown/Dan Hennessy)
Wanstead Flats: ad Mediterranean Gull, 18 Pied Wagtail on police scrape, 2 Skylark, 2000+ Woodpigeon SW, 300+ Starling W, 6 Redwing, 26 Fieldfare, 13 Lesser Redpoll, 10+ Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, 20 Gadwall, 7 Shoveler, 10 Tufted Duck (Dan Hennessy/Nick Croft)
Wanstead Flats: ad Mediterranean Gull still on playing fields by the Alex (Bob Vaughan); still at 14:20 (Richard Rae); 16 Pied Wagtail police scrape, 2 Meadow Pipit, 8 Skylark police scrape, Reed Bunting SSSI, Chiffchaff, Kestrel, Sparrowhwak (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Park: 2 Treecreeper responding to tape (first for 2 years), Firecrest (first returning bird of winter) - all Bush Wood, Goldcrest, Water Rail SE corner of Shoulder of Mutton (first returning bird), 11 Gadwall there too (Nick Croft/Dan Hennessy/Bob Vaughan/Richard Rae).
Pic: Richard Rae
Wanstead Park: Bush Wood - 2 Treecreeper, 2 Nuthatch, Coal Tit (Jonathan Lethbridge).
Wanstead Flats: 13 Redwing, 2 Fieldfare, 9 Song Thrush, 5 Mistle Thrush, Lesser Redpoll, Siskin, 20+ Goldfinch, 9 Skylark, 4 Meadow Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail, 2-3 Pochard, 32 Gadwall, 10 Shoveler, 10+ Tufted Duck, Kestrel (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Flats: 6 Lesser Redpoll, Siskin, 30+ Greenfinch, Linnet, 4 Skylark, 3 Meadow Pipit, 4 Fieldfare, Redwing, singing Song Thrush (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Park: 2 Firecrest (Bush Wood), 2 Goldcrest (Res Wood), 2 Treecreeper, Nuthatch, 24 Fieldfare W, 2-3 Redwing, Stock Dove, 4 Chaffinch (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Flats: Mealy Redpoll, Snipe, 26 Fieldfare, 300+ Starling W, 2 Skylark, 4 Meadow Pipit (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Park: Bush Wood/Reservoir Wood - Firecrest north of old pond, 6 Goldcrest, 2 Treecreeper, 2 Nuthatch, Sparrowhawk, 6 Redwing, Stock Dove (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Flats: ad Mediterranean Gull, Wigeon, 15 Gadwall, 7 Shoveler, 8 Tufted Duck, 2 Goldcrest, 3 Skylark, 2 Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, 2-4 Linnet, 10+ Chaffinch, Lesser Redpoll, 18 Fieldfare, Redwing (Nick Croft).
Wanstead Flats: ad Mediterranean Gull still on Alex, Woodcock over Long Wood (first returning bird), 5 Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, 3 Redwing, 2 singing Song Thrush, 9 Gadwall, 3 Shoveler, Egyptian Goose over, 10+ Chaffinch, m Sparrowhawk with prey, m Kestrel (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Park: 11 Lesser Redpoll, Mealy Redpoll (old sewage works), 2 Water Rail sharming to each other on Shoulder of Mutton, Chiffchaff, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, f Teal, 173 Gadwall, 50 Tufted Duck, 12 Shoveler, 29 Pochard, Egyptian Goose, 4 Little Grebe, 9 Goldcrest (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Flats: ad Mediterranean Gull still in with gull roost by Alex (6-700 gulls on site today incl 400+ Common Gull, 300 Black-headed Gull, with a few Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gull, 25+ Song Thrush, 40+ Blackbird, Fieldfare, 2 Redwing, 2 Mistle Thrush, 8 Skylark, 14 Meadow Pipit, 5 Pied Wagtail, 8 Linnet, 10+ Chaffinch, 5 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Stock Dove, 23 Gadwall, 12 Tufted Duck, 7 Shoveler, f Pochard, 2 Teal, 5 Egyptian Goose, 50+ Mallard (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Flats: Tawny Owl (Long Wood) 06:00 (Josh Selfe); ad Mediterranean Gull still Alex, 12 Lesser Redpoll, 10 Linnet, 12 Skylark, 2 Meadow Pipit, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 15 Gadwall, 5 Shoveler (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Flats: 22 Gadwall, m Teal, 7 Shoveler, 10+ Tufted Duck, Fieldfare, 3 Skylark, 4 Meadow Pipit (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Flats: Woodcock, Snipe, 11 Linnet, Skylark, 4 Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, 3 Fieldfare, 2 Mistle Thrush, 19 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, 3 Pochard, 5 Tufted Duck, 3 Egyptian Goose, Kestrel (Nick Croft).
Wanstead Flats: 6 Lesser Redpoll, 7 Linnet, 14 Skylark, 4 Meadow Pipit, Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Stock Dove, 21 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, f Pochard, 8 Tufted Duck, 4 singing Song Thrush, 3 Fieldfare, 2 Redwing (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Park: Water Rail, Little Egret, Goldcrest, 157+ Gadwall, 65 Tufted Duck, c50 Pochard, 9 Shoveler, 2 Egyptian Goose (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Flats: 17 Linnet, Lesser Redpoll, 20+ Chaffinch, 12 Skylark, 4 Meadow Pipit, 3 Pied Wagtail, 51 Gadwall, 8 Shoveler, 3 Pochard, 10+ Tufted Duck, 2 Egyptian Goose, 2 Goldcrest, Stock Dove, 9 Song Thrush (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Park: Shoulder of Mutton - 2 Water Rail, 10 Gadwall, 2 Egyptian Goose, Goldcrest, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Flats: 19 Linnet, 12-14 Skylark, 4 Meadow Pipit (Police scrape) (Nick Croft)