Today was the anniversary four years ago of our first Wryneck, probably the best of the bunch, and today it felt that it should have been a Wryneck kind of a day. It wasn't, though I did spend about half an hour wandering round Cornonation copse and the little patch of broom and grass to the east of Long Wood after seeing what possibly wasn't anything more exciting than a Song Thrush zipping through. So no major finds over the last few days though there is always something...
The Stonechat did the decent thing and hung about for four days and had over ten people (all Wanstead Birders) come twitch it, there not as common as they used to be. It wasn't seen today, though that doesn't mean a thing. Spotted Flycatcher are back and are just brilliant.
Monday was good:
Wanstead Flats: Tree Pipit, 15+ Meadow Pipit, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, 2 Skylark, Whinchat, Stonechat, Wheatear, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 20 + Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, 3 Kestrel, 2 Sparrowhawk, Common Gull, 12 + Gadwall, 11 Shoveler, 7 Pochard, 2 Teal, Coal Tit, Reed Bunting (Nick Croft)
Wanstead Flats: Whinchat, Stonechat, 1-2 Wheatear, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Tree Pipit, 40 + Meadow Pipit, 4 Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, 1-2 Sedge Warbler (3rd record this year), 2 Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, 6 Blackcap, Willow Warbler, 10 + Chiffchaff, 20 + Swallow, House Martin, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Kestrel, 4 Egyptian Goose, 7 Shoveler, 2 Skylark, Snipe (Nick Croft/Richard Rae/Bob Vaughan/John Weil)
and today, sort of middling:
Wanstead Flats: 2 Whinchat, Wheatear, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, 70 + Meadow Pipit (could have been twice that number), 20 + Swallow, House Martin, Common Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 25 Gadwall, 16 + Shoveler, 2 Wigeon, Pochard, 2 Tufted Duck, 4 Egyptian Goose, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Blackcap, 20 + Chiffchaff, Common Gull, 1st winter Great Black-backed Gull (Nick Croft/Richard Rae)
Gotta love Tree Pipit, Sedge Warbler grunting from the top of an elder, and then two smart looking Wigeon. Biggest surprise today though was finding a Buzzard braving out the derision of the local corvid population at Alex, possibly the last place you'd want to be if you were a buzzard wanting a rest in a tree. After I'd finally found it it moved to another tree on the western island, obviously enjoying the attention it was getting. I was hoping for something Long-eared and owl-like.
Talking of buzzards or not buzzards to be exact Lee GR has now waded in on the flimsy conspiracy I am creating we'll call BuzzyMarsh Gate: "@LeeEvansBirding. Wanstead claim of HONEY BUZZARD on 27 December was yet another misidentification - Marsh Harrier this time (photographed fortunately)"
Thanks to the Prof. for forwarding it on.
I replied stating that they were terrible shots and that better birders than me had agreed on my suggestion. Several more shouty replies were forthcoming on how Honey Buzzards are the most misidentified bird in the UK at the moment with Marsh Harrier being the culprit.