Wanstead Flats: 5 Common Redstart, 6 Whinchat, 13 + Wheatear, Pied Flycatcher, 7 + Spotted Flycatcher, Tree Pipit, 2 Meadow Pipit, 5 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Pied Wagtail, 15 + Willow Warbler, 2 Garden Warbler, 10 + Lesser Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, 3 Swallow, House Martin, Linnet, 3-4 Sparrowhawk, 4 Kestrel, Gadwall, 5 Egyptian Goose (Wanstead Birders)
We've had better days, but not so many and with such glorious weather, but can't fault the anonymous remark on The London Bird Club wiki page. Today the rest of London caught up a bit, for, up until today, no where else had got a Redstart, none yet appear to have Wheatear (very odd), and as for the commoner migrants, such as Willow Warbler–not even a mention.
Poor old Richard, assuming Jono's mantle of "left before everything kicked-off", missed virtually everything with his early morning vigil. I arrived just as he was leaving, and as five Wheatear apparently had the same idea. Together though we cobbled together six Whinchat and another three white arses before he had to take his leave. John W was slightly more lucky with his timing. We stood for some time trying to work out how many Spotted Flycatcher were buzzing about the high oaks at the east end of Long Wood, seven was the best guess we could agree on, plus what to me looked like a Nightingale zipping through the canopy–a bird I am pretty sure has been thwarting me for over a week now with it's brief glimpses. We moved positions to get closer to check for Pied Fly, but the activity in the crowns stopped abruptly as it had started.
Moving round the outside of the enclosure birds were rocketing everywhere. A Pied Fly did pop up briefly on a branch in front of us, but was gone for the rest of the morning. We did not know this so followed its route into the enclosure. John picked up a Redstart. Better, but still a bugger to see, like all the others before it, a flash and gone. Dan turned up; the SSSI was heaving with phylloscs, he reported., but then suddenly the enclosure was filled with Redstarts, or precisely one elder on the south side was. Four birds in one bush, and happily for those who turned up later, a showy group.
I could have quite happily stayed here all day, but there is more to the patch than just Long Wood, and knowing full well I would see bugger all elsewhere I walked off to the Alex, after doing one last circuit of Long Wood (Redstart #5 at the west end flycatching).
As predicted the Alex was quiet, one Garden Warbler, a couple of Willow Warbler and a Lesser Whitethroat all I had to show for it–though I did get a further eight Wheatear on the way, so can't really complain.
Back in the enclosure a couple of Redstart were still in evidence and I managed a Tree Pipit on the way home. With the weather set to be a bit shabby tomorrow, could be that Thursday is another good day, whatever I'll be there...