1 March 2016

TFFT: Flacid February falls flat

So it was the toilet as we had feared, but February is now over and we can look forward to a whole heap of goodies to help us forget. 

Just the 72 species for the month and just the one new bird–a Common Buzzard–which Bob and I nearly missed as we talked through Gravitational Wave Theory, by the side of Shoulder of Mutton, one not too unpleasant morn towards the end of the month. Luckily a crow spoke to us and we looked up.

The other highlights were:

  • The Caspian Gull visited, and apparently visits the Eagle Pond in Snaresbrook
  • The only Firecrest we could be bothered with, lingered in Long Wood till near the end of the month, but may now be checking bus times from the brambles on Lake House Road. Stu did rather better round by Gilbert's Slade
  • A record 27 Teal in the Park on the 27th 
  • The wintering Stonechat lingers till the end of the month, and the first migrant of Spring–a male on Angel on the 28th
  • The Little Owl may be two, but probably not...
  • Skylark numbers on the rise, with 6 birds (3-4 singing) by the end of the month.  Now we need a few females and the new signage promised for this week will serve a purpose, though still be widely ignored.
  • 4-5 Water Rail reported through the month

Shoveler numbers held up through the month, while Gadwall looked to be making a small come back towards the end, it is a good time for Teal though. Very few Little Grebe making the selves known, and only a pair of Great Crested Grebe on the Basin (virtually the only birds of note there) and a single adult and a 1st winter bird doing the rounds in the park, but with water levels still low on Heronry, perhaps not surprising. But low water levels could be interesting for wader movement, or for prolonging low levels of interest.

Siskin have split in to smaller groups with one at the south end of Bush Wood and a few hanging on in the Dell, but Redpoll have not been seen anywhere for some time. A lesson I learnt this month is don't take pictures of finches while they are eating–they are extremely messy feeders!

The one wintering Chiffchaff is most likely to be stumbled across by the stables, but no Blackcap were noted for February. In a few weeks they will be singing everywhere. Which brings us on nicely to the strange sub-song of the Redwing–I would love to hear a Fieldfare give it some–now emanating from an Ivy clump near you.

Lets agree not to do February next year.


Wanstead Flats: Firecrest, Stonechat, 11 Linnet, 2 Skylark, 24 Tufted Duck, 4 Pochard, 15 Shoveler, 12 Gadwall, 15 Egyptian Goose (Nick Croft).


Wanstead Flats: Caspian Gull briefly on Alex, Fieldfare, Redwing Siskin, Kestrel, 11 Shoveler, 5 Pochard, 6 Gadwall, 3 Tufted Duck, 10 Egyptian Goose (Nick Croft/Peter Brinton)


Wanstead Flats: 6 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, 3 Pochard, 2 Tufted Duck, 7 Egyptian Goose, Little Grebe, Reed Bunting, Linnet, Stonechat, Goldcrest (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan) Report of Yellowhammer singing in SSSI from last week in December

Wanstead Park: Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 6 Redwing, 2 Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, 10 + Siskin, 5 + Redpoll, 20 + Goldfinch, 29 Shoveler, 9 Gadwall, 11 Tufted Duck, 6 Pochard, 4 Teal, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe (Nick Croft)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: 3 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Siskin, 2 Coal Tit, Nuthatch, singing Treecreeper, 14 Shoveler, 3 Gadwall, 63 Tufed Duck (Stuart Fisher)


Wanstead Flats: 6 Linnet, 4 Siskin, Redpoll, 5 Meadow Pipit, 4 Pied Wagtail, 2 Kestrel, Fieldfare, 8-10 singing Song Thrush, Stonechat, 14 Shoveler, 8 Gadwall, 4 Pochard, 22 Tufted Duck, 18 Egyptian Goose, 2 Goldcrest (Nick Croft/Peter Brinton)


Wanstead Flats: 10 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall, 4 Pochard, 4 Tufted Duck, 8 Egyptian Goose, Little Grebe, Goldcrest, Kestrel, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, 6+ Great Spotted Woodpecker (Nick Croft/John Whele)

Wanstead Park: Nuthatch (Bob Vaughan).


Wanstead Flats: Stonechat, 12 Linnet, 2 Redpoll, 4 Gadwall, 5 Tufted Duck, 2 Little Grebe, 2 Meadow Pipit, Fieldfare (Tony Brown/James Heal/Anita McCullough)


Wanstead Flats:  2 Skylark (Rose Stephens), Stonechat, Peregrine Falcon f, 2 Kestrel, 19 Tufted Duck, 3 Pochard,  3 Shoveler, 2 Egyptian Goose (Jubilee pond), 2 Goldcrest (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Park: 16 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 4 Teal, 15 Tufted Duck, 4 Pochard, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Stock Dove, 4 Redpoll, 4 Goldcrest, Little Egret (Nick Croft/James Heal)


Wanstead Flats: Stonechat, 2 Mistle Thrush, 6 singing Song Thrush, 4 Kestrel, 2 Great Black-backed Gull, 2 pairs of Stock Dove, 20 Tufted Duck, 7 Pochard, 9 Shoveler, 6 Teal (3 displaying males to one female), 7 Gadwall, 6 Egyptian Goose, Little Grebe, 12 Linnet (Nick Croft/Peter Brinton)

Wanstead Park: Water Rail sharming, Grey Wagtail, Redpoll, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 7 Tufted Duck, Pochard, 8 Shoveler (Bob Vaughan)


Wanstead Flats: Firecrest (still Long Wood), Goldcrest, 3 Skylark (one singing bird), Meadow Pipit, 20 + Goldfinsh, 4 Linnet, 6 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 2 Egyptian Goose, 3 Tufted Duck, 1 f Pochard, Little Grebe, 2 Stock Dove,  Kestrel (Nick Croft/James Heal)

Wanstead Park: 2 Nuthatch, 13 + Siskin, 10 + singing Song Thrush, 3 Mistle Thrush (one singing), 6 Redwing,  5 Stock Dove, 39 Shoveler, 8 Pochard, 11 Teal, 4 Gadwall, 15 Tufted Duck, 2 Egytian Goose, Water Rail, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, 3 Goldcrest (Nick Croft)


Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: 2 Firecrest (including a singing male, 100m north of car park along path to Gilberts Slade, in Hollies), Nuthatch, 2-3 Coal Tit, 18 Redwing, 2 Egyptian Goose, 20 Shoveler, Gadwall, pr Great crested Grebe, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll (Stuart Fisher)


Wanstead Flats: Caspian Gull (Jamie Partridge)
Snaresbrook: Caspian Gull on Eagle Pond (possibly same bird as Wanstead Flats) (Stephen Harris)


Wanstead Flats: Stonechat, Gadwall, 4 Pochard, * Egyptian Goose, 5 Meadow Pipit, 2 Skylark (Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Park: 8-12 Redwing, 24 Shoveler, 6 Teal (Bob Vaughan)


Wanstead Flats: Firecrest (Still west end Long Wood), 2 Goldcrest, Meadow Pipit, singing Skylark, Stonechat, 8 Shoveler, 4 Pochard, 6 Tufted Duck, 3 Egyptian Goose, Little Grebe, Grey Heron (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Park: 5 Teal, 26 Shoveler, 10 Gadwall, 4 Pochard, Great Crested Grebe, 2 Coal Tit, Redpoll, Siskin, Nuthatch (Bob Vaughan)


Wanstead Flats: singing Skylark, Meadow Pipit, 2 Kestrel, 4 Gadwall, 2 Pochard, f Tufted Duck, 3 Egyptian Goose, 1-2 Little Grebe (nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: Great Crested Grebe, 12 Teal, 17 Tufted Duck, 5 Pochard, 22 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall, 3 Egyptian Goose, 1-2 Sparrowhawk, Nuthatch, Goldcrest, 5 Stock Dove, 3 Redpoll, 18 + Siskin, Little Egret (Nick Croft)

Leyton Flats: Firecrest in hollies South of Gilberts Slade c2pm, Treecreeper, Nuthatch (Stuart Fisher) 


Wanstead Flats: 1w m Stonechat, 2 Redwing, 2 Skylark, 6 Pied Wagtail, 7 Linnet, 23 + Greenfinch, 3 Stock Dove, Little Grebe, 21 Tufted Duck, 7 Pochard, 7 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 3 Egyptian Goose, 3 unidentified small geese NW, Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel, 5 Goldcrest (Nick Croft)

Snaresbrook, Gilberts Slade: Tawny Owl heard 06.15 (Stuart Fisher)


Wanstead Flats: 5 Shoveler, 5 Gadwall, 2 Teal, 7 Tufted Duck, 3 Egyptian Goose, 2 Little Grebe, 2 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, singing Greenfinch, Great Black-backed Gull (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Park: 16 Teal, 30 Shoveler, 20 Tufted Duck, 6 Pochard, 3 Little Grebe, 2 Great Crested Grebe, Water Rail, Redpoll, Siskin, Coal Tit, 4 Stock Dove (2 singing), 2 Goldcrest, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)


Wanstead Flats: WeBS 1200 Common Gull, 380 Black-headed Gull, 13 Herring Gull, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, 92 Coot, 36 Moorhen, 179 Canada Goose, 46 Greylag Goose, 20 Tufted Duck, 7 Pochard, 86 Mallard, 8 Shoveler, 4-6 Gadwall, 22 Mute Swan, Little Grebe, 5 Pied Wagtail, 2 Stock Dove, 100 Starling, singing Chaffinch, Goldcrest, 4-5 Skylark (up to 3 singing birds), pair of Mistle Thrush (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: WeBS sharming Water Rail, 22 Teal (Wren Group)


Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: 1st w Caspian Gull associating with Black-headed Gull on Eagle Pond at around 2pm, Nuthatch, 24 Shoveler (20 on Eagle Pond) (Stuart Fisher)


Wanstead, Nightingale Lane: M Blackcap in garden, a first for us. (G. Gram).

Wanstead Flats: 5 Skylark (2 singing), Stonechat, 2 Stock Dove, 3 Goldcrest, 12 Greenfinch, 10+ Goldfinch, 2 singing Chaffinch, 15 Tufted Duck, 1 Pochard, 8 Shoveler, Gadwall, 2 Egyptian Goose, 3 Great Black-backed Gull, Kestrel, 1-2 Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft/Peter Brinton)

Wanstead Park: Tawny Owl in Bush Wood (Tim Harris)


Wanstead Flats: singing sub-adult Reed Bunting, 7 Greenfinch, 3 Siskin, 3-4 Skylark, 8 Shoveler, 3 Gadwall, 11 Tufted Duck, 4 Pochard, 2 Little Grebe, 2 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk (Peter Brinton/Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Park: Common Buzzard, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, 10+ Redwing, 7+ Stock Dove, Grey Wagtail, 2 Siskin, Coal Tit, 16 Teal, 36 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall, 2 Egyptian Goose, 23 Tufted Duck, 7 Pochard, 2 Little Grebe, 2 Great Crested Grebe (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan) Tawny Owl calling at 22:30 in Bush Wood (Bob Vaughan)


Wanstead Flats: 9 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall, 8 Tufted Duck, 8 Pochard, 8 + Egyptian Goose, singing Skylark, Redwing, 10 + Greenfinch, 3 Stock Dove, 2 Kestrel, Goldcrest (Peter Brinton/Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 2-3 Water Rail (Shoulder of Mutton),14 Teal, 18 Shoveler, 11 Tufted Duck, 6 Pochard, Gadwall, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, 2 Goldcrest, 4 Siskin, 20 + Goldfinch, 10 + Greenfinch, Redwing, Chiffchaff, Kestrel, 2 Grey Wagtail, 4 Stock Dove (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Firecrest behind bus stop opposite Windsor Road, 4 Goldcrest, 10 Linnet, 15+ Greenfinch, 20+ House Sparrow, Redwing, 3 Skylark (2 singing), 2 Kestrel, tiny male Sparrowhawk, 22 Shoveler, 2 Teal, 4 Gadwall, 14 Tufted Duck, 6 Pochard, 13 Egyptian Goose, 2 pair of Stock Dove (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: 6 Skylark (Tony Brown)

Wanstead Park: 3 Water Rail (SoM + 2 on Roding), 26 Teal (Heronry + 1 on Roding), 2 Great Crested Grebe (Basin), Sparrowhawk, Grey Wagtail, 5 Siskin (Tony Brown)


Wanstead Flats: Little Owl last thing (possibly 2 birds), male Stonechat (first spring migrant here), 5-6 Skylark, 2 Meadow Pipit, 5 Pied Wagtail, 2 Goldcrest, 25+ House Sparrow, 14 Egyptian Goose, 17 Tufted Duck, 9 Pochard, 11 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall, 10+ Herring Gull, Little Grebe, Kestrel, Redwing (James Heal/Nick Croft/Tim Harris)

Wanstead Park: 16 Gadwall, 50 Shoveler, 18 Teal, 21 Tufted Duck, 4 Pochard, 2 Egyptian Goose, 2 Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, 10+ Siskin, Sparrowhawk, 2 Goldcrest, singing Coal Tit (James Heal); 7 Siskin, 5+ Goldcrest, Kestrel (Bush Wood) (Nick Croft)

Leyton Flats: c. 90 Tufted Duck, 38 Shoveler (Eagle and Hollow Ponds), Siskin over, singing Coal Tit, 1-2 Grey Wagtail, 200+ Black-headed Gull, 40+ Common Gull, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull, Redwing (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: 4-5 Skylark, Meadow Pipit (h), Sparrowhawk, 6 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 5 Tufted Duck, 2 Egyptian Goose, 2 Little Grebe (Nick Croft/Peter Brinton)

Wanstead Park: 30 Shoveler, 9 Gadwall, 18 Teal, 14 Tufted Duck, 6 Pochard, 2 Egyptian Goose, Water Rail in flight between reed beds (Shoulder of Mutton), Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, 2 Grey Wagtail (male singing), 8 Redwing (some subsong), 2 Goldcrest, 2 Siskin, 8 Stock Dove, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)

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