6 May 2015

April: simply brilliant

 Wood Warbler by finder Tony Brown (26th April) Star bird!

96 species (excluding Stu's Mandarin and Brambling and Nick Tanner's probable Great Northern Diver), 29 new for the year (including those mentioned above), blockers unblocked, records broken, another pair of boots destroyed - the month had everything!

Where to start? I said in my forecast pre-amble for April that it was the second best month of the year, I may have to revise that statement. Needless to say my prediction was wrong for Alpine Swift.

Strangely enough the Long Wood area has failed to live up to it's best bit status, losing out to the SSSI and the Alex, only contributing a couple of Whinchat (after they'd been seen elsewhere).  It's time will come.

  • Swallow (1-Apr)
  • Shelduck (3-Apr): with a record flock of 8 doing the rounds by the end of the month
  • Hooded Crow (4-Apr): the first since 1962/3
  • Diver sp (prob Great Northern Diver) (4-Apr): would be a first for the area
  • Willow Warbler (5-Apr)
  • Brambling (Snaresbrook) (8-Apr): latest ever record
  • Golden Plover (9-Apr)
  • Green Sandpiper (9-Apr): a dizzying 7 birds (including a flock of 4) more than the last few years combined
  • Ring Ouzel (10-Apr):
  • Yellow Wagtail (10-Apr)
  • Sedge Warbler (13-Apr): 2 birds
  • Grasshopper Warbler (14-Apr): the first spring, singing record I am aware of
  • Red-legged Partridge (14-Apr): first since 2006 (may now be in Hyde Park via Walthamstow)
  • Common Whitethroat (14-Apr)
  • Tree Pipit (14-Apr): unusually 3 together and unusually in the Old Sewage Works
  • Common Redstart (14-Apr): only 2 birds this spring (so far)
  • Yellowhammer (15-Apr)
  • Whinchat (16-Apr): earliest spring record and including a singing male
  • House Martin (17-Apr)
  • Swift (18-Apr): earliest spring record and 5 birds by the end of the month
  • Lesser Whitethroat (20-Apr): up to 10 singing birds by the month's end
  • Garden Warbler (Leyton Flats) (21-Apr): ours was back on site a few days later
  • Reed Warbler (24-Apr)
  • Wood Warbler (25-Apr): first singing bird for many a year (ask Bob!)
  • Common Sandpiper (25-Apr)
  • Spotted Flycatcher (26-Apr)
  • Ringed Plover (26-Apr): first sightings of 3 birds over the fairground after calling birds previously
  • Redshank (27-Apr): another of Mr Bishop's contributions (he also found the partridge)
  • Hobby (28-Apr)

Add to that a record count of Shoveler (62) in the park, well over 400 Meadow Pipit moving through on their northern migration, a Short-eared Owl, several Red Kite, Firecrest holding on at the beginning of the month at Snaresbrook, and a (small) hat-full of Rook sightings - all in all a pretty damn good month. Roll on August.

Wanstead Flats: Swallow, Rook, 4 Chiffchaff, 6 Skylark, 16 Meadow Pipit 13 north & 3 singing birds, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Pied Wagtail, 2m Reed Bunting, 4 Redwing, 9 Shoveler, 2 Pochard, 6 Little Grebe (Nick Croft/Tim Harris)

Wanstead Park: 4 Fieldfare north, singing Blackcap, 11 Chiffchaff, pr of Great Crested Grebe back on Shoulder of Mutton (Dan Hennessy); pr of Nuthatch in the Dell (Tony Brown)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: singing Firecrest, singing Blackcap, 2 Treecreeper, Rook S, 6 Meadow Pipit N, Coal Tit, 2 Common Buzzard SW early afternoon, 2 singing Chiffchaff, pr Sparrowhawk over (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats: 80+ Meadow Pipit through (& 3 singing birds), Skylark, 1-2 Swallow, 2-3 Reed Bunting, Peregrine Falcon, 2 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 8 Shoveler, 3 Little Grebe, 5 Chiffchaff, singing Blackcap (Nick Croft/Tim Harris/Bob Vaughan) 25 Meadow Pipit (Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Park: Coal Tit, Goldcrest and Chiffchaff singing in St Mary's churchyard (Dan Hennessy), 11 Chiffchaff in park, 10 Meadow Pipit over, 2 Teal, 6 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Sparrowhawk, singing Stock Dove, 4 Redwing (Nick Croft)

Leyton Flats: Egyptian Goose with young at Hollow Ponds (Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Flats: Shelduck, 2 Egyptian Goose, 6 Shoveler, Gadwall, 3 Little Grebe, f Wheatear, 2 Swallow, Common Snipe, 2 Kestrel, 4 Sparrowhawk, 10 Meadow Pipit, 6 Skylark, 2 Reed Bunting, 10 Chiffchaff, 2
Blackcap, Fieldfare (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: 62 Shoveler (park record), 9 Teal, 13 Gadwall, 2 Egyptian Goose, Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Grebe, Little Egret, 4 singing Blackcap, 10+ Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, singing Coal Tit, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk (Tim Harris/Nick Croft)

Wanstead Flats:  Hooded Crow being chased off patch by its more familiar cousins. Only when it banked and swerved to avoid the pursuing birds could we makeout grey on belly and underwing and on the back (NC/DH); 50+ Meadow Pipit, 5 Skylark, 7 Redwing, Siskin, Linnet, 2 Reed Bunting, 3 Kestrel, 2 Sparrowhawk, 12 Shoveler, f Pochard, 4 Little Grebe, 10 + Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, pr of Stock Dove (Nick Croft/Dan Hennessy/Jonathan Lethbridge/Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Park: Swallow, Meadow Pipit, 16 + Chiffchaff, singing Blackcap, singing Goldcrest, 2 Teal, 10 Gadwall, 6 Shoveler, Little Egret, pr of Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, pr Great Crested Grebe on basin + 1 on Perch, Little Grebe, Coal Tit (Dan Hennessy/Nick Croft) Diver sp (probable Great Northern Diver) high over Wanstead Tube station going south (Nick Tanner via text)

Wanstead Flats: up to 6 Common Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon, 4 + Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel, 50 + Meadow Pipit, 6 + Skylark, 3 Swallow, Willow Warbler, 5 singing Chiffchaff, 2 singing Blackcap, 3 Linnet, 2 Wheatear (m&f), 25 + Shoveler, f Pochard, 5 Little Grebe (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: 2 Red Kite west over old sewage works (Dan Hennessy)

Wanstead Flats: 200 +Meadow Pipit through north, 10 + Skylark, 4 Common Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon, 3 Kestrel, 4 + Sparrowhawk, 20 + Linnet north, Rook, 3 Swallow, 15 Shoveler, 6 Stock Dove, 5 singing Chiffchaff, Blackcap (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: 20 Meadow Pipit north, 5 Buzzard, Red Kite, 3 Kestrel, 3 Sparrowhawk, Little Egret, 4 Shoveler, pr of Great Crested Grebe (Nick Croft/Tim Harris)

Wanstead Flats: possible Red Kite north at 08:07 (DH) possibly KM's bird at Woodford, 20 Meadow Pipit, 7 Skylark, 2 Linnet, Reed Bunting, Redwing, 3 Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel, 17 Shoveler, 7 Little Grebe, 2 Swallow, 5 singing Chiffchaff (Dan Hennessy/J Lethbridge/N Croft/B Vaughan/M Johnson)

Wanstead Park: 3 Common Buzzard (Dan Hennessy)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: 4 Common Buzzard through, late morning/early afternoon, 2-3 Sparrowhawk, 3-4 singing Blackcap, 4 singing Chiffchaff, 2 Coal Tit, Treecreeper, singing Nuthatch, 3 Gadwall, Pochard, 2 Green Woodpecker, a trickle of Meadow Pipits through, pr Egyptian Geese with 3 chicks, 2 Great crested Grebe (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats: 1-2 Swallow, 3 singing Blackcap, 6 singing Chiffchaff, 3 Reed Bunting, 5 Linnet, 6 Meadow Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail, 5 Skylark, Little Egret, 5 Grey Heron through, 6 Shoveler, 4 Little Grebe(Wanstead Birders)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: Brambling on horse chestnut just outside back of court, then flew NE (06.28), 2-3 Sparrowhawk, 5 Chiffchaff, 2-3 Blackcap, Nuthatch, 2 Egyptian Geese on Court roof (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats: f Golden Plover grounded by fog, Green Sandpiper likewise, f Wheatear, 3 Linnet, Reed Bunting, 6 Meadow Pipit, 7 Skylark, Kestrel, 6 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 3 Stock Dove, Little Grebe, 4 Egyptian Goose, 5-6 Sand Martin, Swallow (Nick Croft/Marco Johnson/Bob Vaughan/Barry Bishop), Common Buzzard (Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Park: Great Crested Grebe, 4 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler (Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Flats: Ring Ouzel, 2 Yellow Wagtail, Willow Warbler, Swallow, Sand Martin, Peregrine, 2 Meadow Pipit, 4 Reed Bunting (pair), Skylark, 6 Linnet, 2 Shoveler, 2 Pochard (pair) (Twitter)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: singing Willow Warbler, Swallow N, 4 Blackcap, 6+ Chiffchaff, Common Buzzard, Kestrel, Peregrine S, Sparrowhawk, Grey Wagtail, Treecreeper, singing Nuthatch (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats: f Wheatear, Swallow, Willow Warbler, 7 singing Blackcap, Skylark, 6 + Meadow Pipit, Kestrel, Linnet, Reed Bunting, 2 unidentified small wader north, 6 Little Grebe (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: 3 Swallow, 2 Sand Martin, pr of Nuthatch, 6 Linnet north, Peregrine Falcon, Sparrowhawk, Little Egret, 10 + singing Blackcap, 20 + Chiffchaff singing, 5 Gadwall, 2 Shoveler, pr of Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, 3 Meadow Pipit north (Nick Croft/James Heal)

Wanstead Flats: 3 Willow Warbler, 10 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, 3 Swallow, 3 Linnet, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Kestrel, 4 Meadow Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, 5 Skyark, 8 Shoveler, f Pochard, 5 Little Grebe, Little Egret (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: Willow Warbler, 20 + Chiffchaff, 20 + Blackcap, 2 Little Egret, Kingfisher, 4 Teal, 5 Gadwall, pr of Shoveler, pr Great Crested Grebe, Kestrel, Swallow (Nick Croft/James Heal)

Wanstead Flats: 3-4 Ring Ouzel, Sedge Warbler, 6 + Willow Warbler, 10 + Chiffchaff, 10 + Blackcap, Yellow Wagtail, 6+ Meadow Pipit, 6 Skylark, Kestrel, Linnet, 3 Reed Bunting, 3 male Pochard, Shoveler, 4 Little Grebe, m Wheatear, 10 + Swallow (Wanstead Birders)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: male Ring Ouzel took off from Leyton Flats and flew N, 2 Rook, 4 Willow Warbler (2 in Court grounds), 5+ Chiffchaff, at least 8 Blackcap (including 2 males chasing a female), c8 Greenfinch, 3 Treecreeper (1 Gilbers Slade, 2 Leyton Flats), Little Egret W, then same or another SE (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats: Red-Legged Partridge the first since 2006 (Barry Bishop), Tree Pipit, 20 + Meadow Pipit, 6 Skylark, 3 Wheatear, 10 + Swallow, Common Whitethroat, 3 Willow Warbler, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 4 Linnet (Wanstead Birders) Common Redstart (Dan Hennessy)

Wanstead Park: singing Grasshopper Warbler, first ever spring bird (Tim Harris) SE of stables in hedge between open space and main path, 3 Tree Pipit, 3 Meadow Pipit north, Yellow Wagtail, Peregrine Falcon (Jono Lethbridge/Dan Hennessy/Marco Johnson/Nick Croft)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: Tree Pipit heard calling over Court, 9+ Meadow Pipit N, 2 Sand Martin N, 4 Willow Warbler, 7 Chiffchaff, c10 Blackcap, 4 Sparrowhawk soaring together, Common Snipe, Shelduck W, Little Grebe on Hollow (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats: Ring Ouzel, 4-5 Wheatear, 4 Willow Warbler, 2 Common Whitethroat, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Linnet, 4 + Meadow Pipit, 4 Skylark, Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel, 2 m Pochard, 4 Little Grebe (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: No sign or sound of Grasshopper Warbler in Old Sewage Works, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Little Egret, 2 Gadwall, Nuthatch, Wheatear, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Little Grebe, pr of Great Crested Grebe (Nick Croft/Dan Hennessy/John Weil)

Wanstead Flats: m Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, 3 Common Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, 15 + Swallow, Sand Martin, Red-legged Partridge, 8 Meadow Pipit (4 singing), 8 Skylark, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 3 Linnet, 3 Reed Bunting (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Flats: House Martin back over nest site, Sand Martin, 10 + Swallow, 4 Common Whitethroat, singing Willow Warbler, 4 Shoveler, 4 Pochard, 2 Egyptian Goose, 5 Little Grebe, 3 singing Meaow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, 7 Skylark, Red-legged Partridge, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 4 Linnet, Reed Bunting (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: 3 House Martin, Common Whitethroat, 4 Gadwall, 2 Teal, pr of Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, 2 Kingfisher, Little Egret, Kestrel, 39 singing Blackcap in south part of park (Tim Harris/Dan Hennessy/Nick Croft)

Wanstead Flats: m Whinchat, m Wheatear, Swift, 3 House Martin, Sand Martin, 10 + Swallow, 2 Willow Warbler, 3 Common Whitethroat, 2 Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel, 5-6 singing Meadow Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, 6 Skylark, 2 Shoveler, 4 Little Grebe, 3 Linnet, 5 Reed Bunting, Red-legged Partridge (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: House Martin, Swallow, Common Whitethroat, Little Egret, 5 Gadwall, pr of Teal, pr of Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Flats: 2 singing Willow Warbler, Common Whitethroat, 3 Reed Bunting, 3 Linnet, Swallow, 2 Gadwall. 3 Pochard, 3 Shoveler, 3 Egyptian Goose, 4 + Little Grebe, Little Egret, Sparrowhawk, Meadow Pipit (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Flats: Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, 4 Common Whitethroat, singing m Whinchat, 4 House Martin, 5 Swallow, 3 singing Meadow Pipit, 5 Skylark, Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, 2 Egyptian Goose, 5 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 6 Little Grebe, 2 Reed Bunting (Nick Croft/Jonathan Lethbridge/Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Flats: 4 Green Sandpiper (north over SSSI - patch record), 1-2 Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Common Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, 3 Linnet, 5 Swallow, 4 House Martin, 3 Sand Martin, 3 singing Meadow Pipit, 5 Skylark, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 2 Shoveler, Coal Tit (Nick Croft/Jono Lethbridge/Tim Harris); Yellow Wagtail (south shore of Alex early afternoon) (James Palmer)

Wanstead Park: 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Common Whitethroat, Nuthatch, pr Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Grebe, 3 Gadwall, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel (Nick Croft/Tim Harris); Little Egret (River Roding) (James Palmer)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: singing male Garden Warbler showing well in birches by Hollow Pond this morning, c10 Blackcap, Nuthatch, 2 singing Willow Warbler, 3 Great Crested Grebe on Eagle Pond (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats: 5 Swallow, House Martin, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 7 Common Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Meadow Pipit, 5 Skylark, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 3 Reed Bunting, 2-3 Linnet, Pochard, Little Grebe, 5 + Stock Dove (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Park: 2 Green Sandpiper (on Roding), Sandpiper sp, 5 Little Egret, Kingfisher, 2-3 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Common Whitethroat, 2 Swallow, 2 Little Grebe, pr of Great Crsted Grebe, 3 Gadwall, 2 Shelduck, Linnet, Goldcrest, Sparrowhawk (Bob Vaughan/Nick Croft)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: singing Garden Warbler in same area as yesterday but moved to island, singing Willow Warbler, 3 Swallow N/NE, Sparrowhawk, 8+ Blackcap, 2 Linnet over (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats: 30 + Swallow, 6 House Martin, 2 Sand Martin, 3 singing Lesser Whitethroat, 5 singing Common Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, 18 + Linnet, 4 Reed Bunting (including copulating pair), 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, 6 Meadow Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail, 4 Skylark (Nick Croft/Tim Harris)

Wanstead Park: 3 Shelduck (Dan Hennessy)


Wanstead Flats: pr of Wheatear, Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler, 7 Lesser Whitethroat (6 singing), 8 Common Whitethroat singing, Willow Warbler, 4 Swift, 4 Swallow, 3 House Martin, 10 + Meadow Pipit, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Skylark, 2 Pochard, 4 Egyptian Goose, 3 Kestrel, 2 Sparrowhawk, 10 + Linnet, 3 Reed Bunting (Nick Croft/Jono Lethbridge)

Wanstead Park: 8 Shelduck over OSW (later 7 landed on Shoulder of Mutton), 7 Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat (Tim Harris)

Wanstead Flats: singing Wood Warbler in SSSI (Tony Brown), Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, 6 + Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Wheatear, m Whinchat, 8 Linnet, Sand Martin, 8 Swallow, House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, 4 Skylark,Red Kite, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 2 Pochard (Wanstead Birders and a few others)

Wanstead Park: Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 4-5 Little Egret, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Gadwall, Common Sandpiper, Swallow, 3 House Martin, 3 Sand Martin, Sparrowhawk, 3 Goldcrest (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Flats: Wood Warbler still singing Motorcycle Wood (still at 17:00), SSSI Garden Warbler there too, 5 singing Lesser Whitehroat, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher (Tim Harris), 3 Ringed Plover, f Ring Ouzel (Nick Croft), 7 Northern Wheatear, 2 Whinchat, Common Snipe, Shelduck, 3 Egyptian Goose, f Pochard, Reed Bunting, 3 Linnet, 4 singing Meadow Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, 6 Skylark, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel (Wanstead Birders et al) Short-eared Owl (Conrad Ellam 13:40)

Wanstead Park: Sedge Warbler early doors on Roding, 4 Willow Warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Little Egret, 2 Gadwall, pr of Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Sparrowhawk (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Flats: Redshank (B Bishop), 30 + Swallow, 7 House Martin, Sand Martin, 6 singing Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, no sign Wood Warbler, Yellow Wagtail, 5 Meadow Pipit, 6 Skylark, Kestrel, 2 Sparrowhawk, Rook, 6 Little Grebe, 7 Shelduck, 3 Egyptian Goose, 10 + Linnet, Reed Bunting and a mass clear out of chats (Wanstead Birders)

Leyton Flats: 1 possibly 2 singing Lesser Whitethroat (SF/Mike Messenger) singing Willow Warbler, 3 Great crested Grebe, Swallow NW, pr Little Grebe on Hollow Pond (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats: m Whinchat, m Wheatear, 4 House Martin, 2 Swallow, 4-5singing Lesser Whitethroat, singing Garden Warbler, 2 singing Willow Warbler, 2 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 7 Shelduck east, 2 Egyptian Goose, pr Pochard, 5 Little Grebe, 4 singing Meadow Pipit, 5 Skylark, 3 Linnet (Nick Croft/Tim Harris/Bob Vaughan) Hobby 12.35 (Bob Vaughan), 2 Hobby, 3 Wheatear (2m), Whinchat (m) (Tony Brown)

Wanstead Park: 8 Shelduck (Dan Hennessy)

Wanstead Flats: f Whinchat, Hobby, 2 Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 2 f Wheatear, 2 singing Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, m Pochard, 2 Egyptian Goose, 3 Little Grebe, 3 Swallow (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Park: singing Reed Warbler, Willow Warbler, 2 f Sparrowhawk, Lesser Whitethroat, pr of Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Grebe (Dan Hennessy/Nick Croft)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: 3+ singing Willow Warbler (a couple of these definately grounded migrants), Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat (first of the year), 5 Great Crested Grebe, Kingfisher (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats: m Wheatear, 2 Hobby, 2 Kestrel, Swift,4 Swallow, 3 House Martin, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, 4-5 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Linnet, 2 Meadow Pipit, 4 Skylark (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan) Common Redstart, Whinchat, Peregrine Falcon (Josh Selfe)

Wanstead Park: Little Egret, 2 Gadwall, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, singing Goldcrest (Nick Croft)