2 August 2015

July avoids recession

As July's go that was pretty good.  Something of interest (OK most of the time that was in the form of a Butterfly or non-avian item) virtually everyday, and what's more we are now out of it,  August is upon us and with a little more patience required before it all kicks off.  Most of us are still waiting for our fill of Redstart (the spring passage was woeful), Spotted and Pied Flycatcher, Tree Pipit and what ever biggie lurks out there. What we would also like is a bit of kick-ass weather to bring it all down, none of this hot sunny days and clear nights tosh...


  • Firecrest still featuring at Snaresbrook
  • Tufted Duck with four young on Jubilee, while mum Pochard fends of all comers to keep her three ducklings through the month
  • More Siskin reports for the month than virtually the whole of the winter period!
  • First returning migrants (Willow Warbler and Swallow) on the 16th
  • Red Kite on 20th
  • Little Owl lost but now found from the 21st
  • Green Sandpiper creates a mini twitch on 21st (Mike Messenger also had a Common Sandpiper in the Park)
  • Since no-one has cried foul and after serious perusal of Birding Frontiers/Josh Jones/Rich Bonser's blogs I am going with my Yellow-legged Gull (first winter). Cue hoots of derision!
  • Garden Warbler: returning or just refound (from the 25th)
  • Two Cuckoo over Alex on the 25th and 30th
  • The first Common Crossbill for two years
  • Big movements of Swift on the 26th-27th

Otherwise:  The Great Crested Grebes succeeded where it looked like a disaster waiting to happen, all four birds have now left the Shoulder of Mutton.  For Little Grebes the story has not been so good, Heronry has been grebe free (there is one first winter there now), while on SoM they have tried, failed, tried again and failed.  The Alex has been the only place where young can be seen and heard, and even here broods are down and the young hard to find.  What went wrong here then?

Back on SoM the Reed Warbler brought of a brood of three, while the late comer in the NE corner sang and sang to no avail and probably was the bird Dan found singing on Alex later in the month. With a little bit of a lull in reports, early on in the month, for Lesser Whitethroat, they are almost everywhere. What happened to the nesting Garden Warbler, and for that matter the Reed Bunting in the SSSI, I couldn't say: young were heard but then nothing–do they head south straight away? the bunting too were seen to be busy, but sightings had all but evaporated by the end of July.

Hit and miss too for our raptors: one family of 4 Kestrel on the flats, while Hobby have gone AWOL. Bob's Kite was the only large raptor for the month.  In the credits column the Little Owl made itself known to us again on the 21st, same place–so where the hell have you been?

Dan's Green Sandpiper (the 10th this year) was notable in that it stayed out and didn't fly off at the first sight of one of us.

Siskin are winter visitors or so we would lead you to believe, but sightings from here and elsewhere in London would make you think other wise.  Whatever it makes a nice change from wheezing Greenfinch.

Here's the other stuff


Wanstead Flats: 6 Sand Martin through, up to 11 House Martin, 50+ Swift, 2 singing Lesser Whitethroat, pair of Reed Bunting, female Pochard with 3 young still plus 2 more females, 6 Skylark, 2 singing Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Kestrel (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: Peregrine over the garden (Bob Vaughan)


Wanstead Flats: 6 Skylark, 3 singing Meadow Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail, 4 House Martin, 20 + Swift, 2 Kestrel, Pochard with 3 young still even after the unwarranted attentions of a swan (Nick Croft/John Whele)

Wanstead Park: 4 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Grebe, Grey Wagtail, Little Egret, Kestrel, 5 House Martin, 10 + Swift, 4 Black-headed Gull (Nick Croft)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: Firecrest, Treecreeper, 2 Nuthatch, Siskin over, Goldcrest, Coal Tit (Stuart Fisher)

Badger Bob doing sartorial


Wanstead Flats: 8 Pochard (plus mum and 3 young) , 3 singing Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylark, 10 + Swift, 4 House Martin, Kestrel (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Park: 3 Reed Warbler, Little Egret, 2 Grey Wagtail, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Grebe, 10 Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull fishing for crayfish, Sparrowhawk, 11 + House Martin, 10 + Swift (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)


Wanstead Flats: Hobby, Kestrel, 2 singing Meadow Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail, Sand Martin, 10 + House Martin, 40 + Swift, 2 singing Lesser Whitethroat, Red-belted Clearwing, 10 + Six-belted Clearwing, 4 Ringlet (Nick Croft/Rose Stephens)

Wanstead Park: 2 Peregrine Falcon, Little Egret (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Sand Martin, House Martin, 30 + Swift, 20 + Black-headed Gull (inc. 1 juvenile), 5 Little Grebe, 8 Pochard, Shoveler, Egyptian Goose, 2 singing Meadow Pipit (+ 2 more), 3 Pied Wagtail, 4 Skylark, Goldcrest (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: 12 House Martin, 20+ Swift, Lesser Whitethroat, f Reed Bunting, 3 Meadow Pipit, 5 Skylark, 8 Pochard, 5 Little Grebe, 50+ Black-headed Gull (2 juv) (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 6 Great Crested Grebe, pr of Little Grebe on nest with c. 4 eggs, Little Egret, m Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, singing Goldcrest, 40+ Swift, 4 Grey Wagtail (Nick Croft)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: ad and juv Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 2 Grey Wagtail (Stuart Fisher) 


Wanstead Flats: 12 House Martin, 50 + Swift, 2 singing Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, 3 singing Skylark, 7 Pochard, Tufted Duck with 4 young, 5 Little Grebe, first returning Common Gull of Autumn, 40 + Black-headed Gull, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: Siskin flew west (presumably the same male as seen a few weeks ago?), Kingfisher, 9 Greylag goose, 3 Tufted Duck, 7 Green Woodpecker (incl 3 juvs), Grey Wagtail (Stuart Fisher)


Wanstead Flats: 3 singing Meadow Pipit, 5 Skylark, 6 House Martin, 10 Swift, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 4 Little Egret, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Little Grebe, 10 + House Martin, less than 10 Swift, Kestrel, 2 sets of Goldcrest, 4 + Reed Warbler (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: 2 singing Meadow Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail, 3 singing Skylark, 7 Pochard (inc. 3 ducklings), Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 6 + House Martin, 20 + Swift, 60 + Black-headed Gull, 2 Lesser Whitethroat (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Common Tern (Tony Brown)

Wanstead Park: 2 Nuthatch, 12 Purple Hairstreak in Bush Wood (Dan Hennessy)


Wanstead Flats: 11 House Martin, 10 + Swift, 4 singing Skylark (2 carrying food, both Six-belted Clearwing), Tufted Duck with 4 young, f Pochard with 3 young, 2 Kestrel (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 2 Kingfisher, Little Egret, 6 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Grebe, Sparrowhawk, pr of Kestrel with presumed young, Hobby, 2-3 Reed Warbler, 6 House Martin, 20 + Swift, Grey Wagtail (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: singing Reed Warbler on Alex (Dan Hennessy)


Wanstead Flats: Swallow east (first returning bird of the autumn), 8 + House Martin, 20 + Swift, f Pochard still with 3 young, Egyptian Goose, Common Gull, Kestrel, 6 Skylark, 2 singing Meadow Pipit (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: first returning Willow Warbler of the autumn, 4 Reed Warbler, Grey Wagtail, 6 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Little Grebe, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 11 House Martin, 10 + Swift (Nick Croft)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: 2+ Siskin high West, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Kestrel, Common Tern, f Whitethroat carrying food, 17 Mute Swan (Stuart Fisher)


Wanstead Pk: 2 Grey Wag and Little Egret on Roding early (Bob Vaughan)

Kite: Pic Bob Vaughan

Wanstead Park: Red Kite (Bob Vaughan)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: Siskin (heard), 2 Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Common Tern, 11 Tufted Duck, f Kestrel, Common Whitethroat, 37 Black-headed Gull (2 juvs), 4 Green Woodpecker (Stuart Fisher)


Wanstead Flats: Little Owl calling from Centre Copse c. 21:30, 4 Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Kestrel, 30 + Swift, f and 3 young Pochard still (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: Green Sandpiper on Shoulder of Mutton (possibly for third day) (Dan Hennessy); Green Sandpiper still at 20:30 (Wanstead Birders); 2 Little Egret, 5 Grey Heron, 6 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Grebe, Kingfisher, Reed Warbler, 4 House Martin, 10+ Swift, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: 11 Gadwall, 5 Pochard, 9 Little Grebe, Common Gull, 50 + Black-headed Gull, 4 singing Skylark, 2 singing Meadow Pipit, 8 House Martin, 10 + Swift, 2-3 Kestrel, 3 Purple Hairstreak centre copse (Nick Croft/Tim Harris/Dan Hennessy) Little Owl again (Jono Lethbridge/Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Park: No sign Green Sandpiper (Dan Hennessy)


Wanstead Flats: 2 Little Egret east, 3 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 2 Swallow, 8 House Martin, 1 Swift, 2 singing Skylark, Meadow Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, 7 Little Grebe, Tufted Duck with 4 young, 5 Gadwall, 9 Goldfinch (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Park: 50 + Swift over Ilford moving north, 6 House Martin, 4 Reed Warbler, 5 Great Crested Grebe, Little Egret, Kingfisher, 2 Gey Wagtail, (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)



Wanstead Flats: Cuckoo west, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, 5 Kestrel, 2 Sparrowhawk, 6 House Martin, 2 Sand Martin, 20 + Swift, Common Gull, 5 Gadwall (Wanstead Birders)


Wanstead Flats: 300 + Swift east (probably a conservative figure), 2-3 Swallow, Sand Martin, House Martin, 4 Grey Heron, Little Egret, 4 Gadwall, Pochard with 3 young, Tufted Duck with 4 young, 4 Egyptian Goose, young Little Grebe, 3 Kestrel, 5 Pied Wagtail (2 adult m with young), Meadow Pipit, 5 Skylark, Common Gull,  Yellow-legged Gull (1st winter) (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan/Dan Hennessy)


Wanstead Flats: 15 Swift, House Martin, singing Skylark, Pochard with 3 young, Linnet, 2 Kestrel (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan/Tony Brown) 12:00–14:30 561 Swift, 5 Sand Martin, 2 Swallow (all west), Hobby, Sprrowhawk, Kestrel (Dan Hennessy)

Wanstead Park: 4 Little Grebe, 2 adult Great Crested Grebe (Heronry) and juv bird still on Shoulder of Mutton (no sign adults and other juv bird there), 5 Swift, Linnet, 20 + Goldfinch, 16 calling Chiffchaff (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Garden Warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Sand Martin, 5 House Martin, Swallow, 10 + Swift, 2 Kestrel, 7 Mistle Thrush, 5 Gadwall, 4 Pochard (family), 4 Little Grebe, family of 4 Skylark, Grey Wagtail, 3 Pied Wagtail, 1-2 Siskin, singing Stock Dove (Dan Hennessy/Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Cuckoo (different bird from Saturday), 3 Sand Martin, 8+ House Martin, Swallow, 10 + Swift, 2 Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler, 6+ Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, 2 singing Skylark, Reed Bunting, 4 Kestrel, 3 Egyptian Goose (Nick Croft/Dan Hennessy/Bob Vaughan)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: pr Gadwall, Peregrine soaring over Epping Forest, Common Tern, Kingfisher, Great-crested Grebe, 3 Common Whitethroat, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, 2 Blackcap, Goldcrest, Coal Tit, Sparrowhawk (Stuart Fisher)


Wanstead Flats: Common Crossbill (first for 2 years), 1-2 Siskin, 10 + Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Swallow, Sand Martin, 13 + House Martin, 10 Swift, 3 Kestrel, 2 Sparrowhawk, Little Egret, 2 Grey Heron, Gadwall, 6 Skylark, 4 Pied Wagtail (Nick Croft/John Whele/Dan Hennessy)

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