31 May 2016

A little wading in May




May tried its best to resolve what April had delivered, and it started rather brightly with the first Cetti's since 2009 and one that may yet herald the colonisation of the patch with these loud yammerers.  After initially liking the Alex it was relocated in the much more suitable habitat by the Roding and was often heard moving up and down its new home. As to be expected it didn't give itself up to photographs, though James H managed something, or to many views for that matter.  The same day a Cuckoo sang near the Shoulder of Mutton and proved just as elusive, but it's the first I've heard conclusively–Peter B got one calling on the flats towards the middle of the month.

Finally we got some wader action in the form of 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin and 2 Greenshank–OK not that many but when you consider that Woodcock has been our commonest wader this year this is mega!

Spotted Flycatcher were seen on 2 days, both in the park, and continuing its downward trend, a Common Tern was seen on Perch and later that same day a rather smart drake Red-crested Pochard spent the day avoiding the bricks that Mr L was lobbing at it.  He later turned his attention to lobbing bricks at me following my "U turn" gymnastics over a certain corvid (love ya back!).

Finally a gull I snapped a few weeks/months back, which had a yellowy leg, now has two, and has passed muster as a first summer Yellow-legged Gull, which means I don't have to look at gulls till the new year, hooray! While I was there I noticed a gull (first summer) with green ring XUFZ on Jubilee which was processed at Reddern in Germany last year as a Caspian Gull! (thanks to Tony Brown for the sleuthing)

Somehow 91 species were seen this month, which makes it the best month this year, and that's wrong, and doesn't include Tawny or Little Owl which could have been added if someone had been slightly adventurous.

As for migrants it has to be said it was pretty awful: The female Whinchat hang on till the 4th (the only bird of the Spring), there was a sighting of a Wheatear and another just off patch, Swallows trickled through till the end of the month, a few sightings of Sand Martin, but better news for the House Martin with 12 counted over Heronry on the 30th.  Swift have yet to get into the hundreds, and if you're a Swift is advisable not to fly solo as the Hobbies will gang up on you.

The Reed Warbler is back in his reedy kingdom and is already paired up, but fairing less well are the 3 other singing birds around the Shoulder of Mutton, while also playing solitaire are the Garden  and Willow Warbler in the SSSI.  There were up to 4 Garden Warbler on the 13th in the area, but hopes off a breeding expansion came to nothing.  Quite a good spring for Sedge Warbler, or just the one on and off and on Alex.

 A few Yellow Wagtail reported in the early part of the month, and promising news for Meadow Pipit with one pair collecting food for hungry mouths somewhere–and there could be 4 birds on territory.  Not such good news for Skylark with no pick up in numbers, so we are stuck on, I believe, five territories with only 8 birds.

Apart from the RCP, the month has been quiet on the duck front: a pair of Gadwall held on in the Ornamental Waters, while all the other winter birds departed. A pair of Shelduck were often seen flying somewhere else. A few Pochard and Tufted Duck are still loitering and hopefully will surprise with a few little ducklings in due course, while away from the bread dumps Mallard broods are bigger for example on Perch and on the Roding.  Best looking of all was the Barnacle Goose that visited the Alex on the 11th, sadly more plastic than the RCP, and the first for a couple of years–I wonder where the Red-breasted Goose has gone to?

All the big raptors put in appearance or two during the month, and the Hobby are doing their usual trick of not being seen too often, even Sparrowhawk are to find at the moment, but at least Kestrel are a daily occurrence–could 3-4 pairs in the vicinity.  More unusual was the 2 sightings of Short-eared Owl, neatly book-ending the month.

The Little Grebe on Alex have 3 young so far, more to come from here and perhaps even on Herorny where a pair has returned since the water level has risen and the single Great Crested Grebe chick on the Shoulder of Mutton is doing well despite the fact the father has buggered off.

In other news the quest for 1000 species has nearly reached the 900 mark even before the bio-blitz week at the end of June, and once again I will be leading a dawn chorus (ha!) at 05:00 on the 25th and looking to go one or two better than Blackcap and Coal Tit from last year!

Now go away until August!


1st

Wanstead Park:
Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Greylag Goose, pair Gadwall (Ian Ellis)

2nd

Wanstead Flats: Cetti's Warbler
(first on patch since 2009), Sedge Warbler, Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, 13 + Common Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Whinchat, 10 + Swallow, 2 Sand Martin, 5 House Martin, 10 + Swift, Hobby, Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel, 2 Pochard, 2 singing Meadow Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, 4 Skylark. 2 male Reed Bunting, pr Linnet (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: Cuckoo singing by Shoulder of Mutton, Peregrine Falcon, Hobby, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 5 singing Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Great Crested Grebe with 1 chick, 4 Little Grebe, 5 Swift, 3 House Martin, 10 + Swallow, 2 Little Egret, Grass Snake (Nick Croft)




Bob's got a new camera set up and this one works!  Common Sandpiper on Alex








3rd

Wanstead Flats: Common Sandpiper, Cetti's Warbler, Sedge Warbler
(all on Alex), Garden Warbler, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 16+ Whitethroat, Willow (Chiff) Warbler, 20 + Swallow, 3 House Martin, 20 + Swift, 2 Meadow Pipit, 5 Skylark, 3 Kestrel, 3 Reed Bunting, Linnet, 3 Pochard, 4 Tufted Duck, 3 Little Grebe (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan/Peter Brinton)

Wanstead Park: Little Egret (Bob Vaughan)











4th

Wanstead Flats: f Whinchat still, Cetti's Warbler
called once (Alex), Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 10+ Whitethroat, 5 Swift, 4 House Martin, pr Reed Bunting, Linnet, 2 singing Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylark, 3 Kestrel, pr of Sparrowhawk, 2 Pochard, 3 Little Grebe, 5+ Green Hairstreak (Nick Croft/Peter Brinton)

Wanstead Park: Spotted Flycatcher (between Shoulder of Mutton and Heronry–showing well), singing Garden Warbler, 10+ Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Redpoll, 2 Little Egret, Kingfisher, Great Crested Grebe with one young, 20+ Swift, Nuthatch, Painted Lady (Nick Croft)

5th

Wanstead Flats: Short-eared Owl
SW over Forest Gate, Garden Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 10+ Common Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, 3 Meadow Pipit, 4 Skylark, Reed Bunting, Linnet, 7 Pochard, 4 Tufted Duck, 3 Little Grebe, Little Egret, 3 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 3 Swallow, up to 6 House Martin, 5 Swift (Nick Croft/Tim Harris)

Wanstead Park: 2 Little Egret, 30+ Swift, 2 Swallow, 10+ Common Whitethroat, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)








6th

Wanstead Flats: 2 Shelduck
east over Alex, 5 Pochard, Garden Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, 10 + Whitethroat, Linnet, singing Reed Bunting, 2 Hobby tag-teaming a Swift (don't fancy its chances), 8 House Martin, Sand Martin, 2 Swallow, 5 Swift, 2 Kestrel, Yellow Wagtail, 5 Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylark (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: Cetti's Warbler relocated to the Roding, 4 Little Egret, Common Kingfisher and a report of a 'partridge' north at new allotments (Bob Vaughan)





A man at peace after clawing back Cetti's Warbler









7th

Wanstead Flats:
singing Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, 15+ Whitethroat, Redpoll, Linnet, 10+ Swift, 8 House Martin, 2 Swallow, 4 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Skylark, 2 Pochard, 5 Little Grebe, Little Egret, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: Cetti's Warbler 05:40 in Old Sewage Works (Jonathan Lethbridge); Spotted Flycatcher (Tony Brown); 5 Little Egret, 5 Common Buzzard, 2 Hobby, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Great Crested Grebe with 3 chicks, 3 Little Grebe, Kingfisher, Black-headed Gull (Wanstead Birders)






8th

Wanstead Flats: Yellow Wagtail,
Skylark, singing Reed Bunting, 2 Linnet, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Whitethroats, Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 10+ Swift, 3 Swallow, 6 House Martin (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: Cetti's Warbler singing and showing early by the Gates of Mordor (Richard Rae), Lesser Whitethroat, 8+ Whitethroat, Goldcrest, 2 Gadwall, Kingfisher, 3 Little Egret, 8 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Grebe, pr of Hobby, Grey Wagtail, 2 Swallow, House Martin, 10+ Swift (Nick Croft)











9th

Wanstead Flats:
8 House Martin, Swallow, 5 Swift, Linnet, 5 Little Grebe, 2 Pochard, Skylark (Frank Nugent/Nick Croft); Common Buzzard NW (FN).

Wanstead Park: 1 possibly 2 Cetti's Warbler by Roding, 2 Little Egret, Hobby, 2 Kestrel, 2 Shelduck, 3 adult Great Crested Grebe, f Banded Demoiselle (Frank Nugent/Nick Croft/Marco Johnson)









10th

Wanstead Flats: 2 Greenshank
low and calling east over Alex, Common Sandpiper, singing Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, 10 + Whitethroat, 14 House Martin, Swallow, 20 + Swift, Little Egret, 7 Little Grebe, 3 Pochard, 2 Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylark, male Sparrowhawk, Kestrel (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Park: singing Reed Warbler (Shoulder of Mutton), Kingfisher, 3 Little Egret, 4 House Martin, Swallow, 20 + Swift, Kestrel (Nick Croft)














11th

Wanstead Flats: 2 Dunlin
(first for 2 years) on Alex (Bob Vaughan), Yellow Wagtail, 3 Meadow Pipit, 2 Swallow, 8 House Martin, singing Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler and Willow Warbler, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 4 Pochard, plastic fantastic Barnacle Goose, 3 Skylark, Linnet (Birthday Bob Vaughan/Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: tatty or bedraggled Red Kite, Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, singing Reed Warbler, pr of Reed Bunting, 8 House Martin, 20+ Swift, Coal Tit (Bob Vaughan/Nick Croft)

















12th

Wanstead Flats: Common Sandpiper
(Alex), 2 Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, singing Reed Bunting, 2 Linnet, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 3 Pochard, 4 Little Grebe, 2 Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylark, 2 Swallow, 6+ House Martin, 10+ Swift, Brimstone and many Green Hairstreak (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Park: singing Reed Warbler (Shoulder of Mutton), singing Reed Bunting there too, Great Crested Grebe with one chick, Little Grebe, 2-3 Hobby, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)









13th

Wanstead Flats: Red Kite
drifting south, 2-4 Garden Warbler in SSSI (2 singing and 2 sources of alarm calling from elsewhere), Willow Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, singing Reed Bunting, Linnet, 3 Swallow, 4 + House Martin, 20 + Swift, Peregrine Falcon, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 5 Pochard, 2 Black-headed Gull, 3 Meadow Pipit (2 carrying food & another singing), 3 singing Skylark (Nick Croft/Sean Kerrigan/John Whele/Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Park: singing Reed Warbler, Little Egret, Lesser Whitethroat, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 3 Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe (Nick Croft/John Whele/Bob Vaughan)

14th

Wanstead Flats:
1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, displaying Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Great Spotted Woodpecker (J & J Cadera)

Wanstead Park: m Red-Crested Pochard, Cetti's Warbler, Garden Warbler, Hobby, Reed Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, 10+ Common Whitethroat (James Heal, Bob Vaughan)

15th

Wanstead Park: Common Tern (Perch) (Tony Brown)






16th

Wanstead Flats: 2 singing Garden Warbler
, Willow Warbler, Linnet, 2 singing Meadow Pipit, 3 singing Skylark, 3 Swallow, 5+ House Martin, 10+ Swift, Kestrel (Nick Croft/Peter Brinton)

Wanstead Park: Cetti's Warbler by Gates of Mordor (Rob Sheldon), 2 Reed Warbler, Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Little Egret (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)











17th

Wanstead Flats: Cuckoo
north towards Alex (Peter Brinton), singing Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, 30+ Swallow through, 5+ House Martin, 20+ Swift, singing Meadow Pipit, 3 singing Skylark, Linnet, 3 Little Grebe, 3 Kestrel, 2 Small Heath, and several dozen Green Hairstreak (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 3 Reed Warbler (2 singing), 2 Little Egret, 3 Swallow, 10+ Swift, 4 Stock Dove, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Grebe, Kestrel, first male Banded Demoiselle (Nick Croft)

18th

Wanstead Flats:
singing Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, 5 Swallow through n, 4 House Martin, 6 Swift, 2 Reed Bunting, Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylark, 2 Kestrel (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 3 Reed Warbler, Goldcrest, 2 Shelduck, 3 Little Grebe, 6 Swallow, 5 Swift, 2 Little Egret, Kestrel (Nick Croft)

19th

Wanstead Flats:
singing Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 singing Meadow Pipit, 2 singing Skylark, 2 Pochard, 4 Tufted Duck, 2 Little Grebe, Kestrel, 2 Swallow, 5 House Martin, 10 + Swift (Nick Croft/Peter Brinton)

Wanstead Park: Peregrine on pylon in Old Sewage Works (Rob Sheldon); 2 singing Reed Warbler (3 birds), Kingfisher, 2 Little Grebe, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 30 + Swift, Swallow (Nick Croft); 11 Grass Snake in OSW (Tim Harris)






20th

Wanstead Flats:
singing Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Meadow Pipit, 2 Skylark, 40 + Swift, 2 Swallow, 5 + House Martin, 2 Pochard, 3 Little Grebe, 3 Kestrel (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 4 singing Reed Warbler (3 on Shoulder of Mutton), Lesser Whitethroat, Kingfisher, Little Egret, 2 Kestrel, 2 presumed failed breeding Black-headed Gull south (Nick Croft)

21st

Wanstead Flats: 100 + Swift
, singing Garden Warbler and Willow Warbler (James Heal)

Wanstead Park: Hobby, Cetti's Warbler, 2 singing Reed Warbler (James Heal/Tony Brown)

22nd

Wanstead Park: Short-eared Owl,
Hobby, singing Cetti's Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, Little Egret, Swallow, 20+ Swift (Nick Croft)

23rd

Wanstead Flats:
singing Garden Warbler and Willow Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Meadow Pipit, 3 singing Skylark, 4 Pochard, Little Grebe, Kestrel, 2 Sand Martin, 5 + House Martin, 40 + Swift (Nick Croft/Peter Brinton)






















24th

Wanstead Flats:
2 Swallow, 6 House Martin, 50+ Swift, 3 Shelduck, 2 Pochard, 2 Tufted Duck, singing Lesser Whitethroat, singing Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, 3 Meadow Pipit (2 collecting food), 3 Skylark, 2 Kestrel (Nick Croft/Peter Brinton)

Wanstead Park: Cetti's Warbler by Roding (Tim Harris); Raven north over Aldersbrook Estate, 3 Reed Warbler (2 singing), Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel, 2 Little Egret, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Little Grebe, 30+ Swift (Nick Croft)

26th

Wanstead Flats:
Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Buzzard, Kestrel, Little Grebe with 2 chicks, Linnet, 2 singing Meadow Pipit, 2 singing Skylark, 30 + Swift, 4 House Martin (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 3 singing Reed Warbler (4 birds), Little Egret, 40 + Swift, 2 Little Grebe, 3 Great Crested Grebe (Nick Croft)




27th

Wanstead Flats:
singing Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, 20+ Swift, 5 House Martin, Little Grebe with 3 chicks, Pochard, 4 Skylark, 2 singing Meadow Pipit, Kestrel, Reed Bunting, Linnet (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 2 Shelduck, 3 singing Reed Warbler (4 birds), Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Swallow, 30+ Swift, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Grebe, Little Egret, Linnet (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan/Sean Kerrigan)
Leyton:  High Road: Hobby over (JW Davies) 



Caspian Gull with green ring XUFZ, rung as a chick at Reddern, Germany (thanks to Tony B for the hard work) 
 







30th

Wanstead Flats:
3 Sand Martin, 4 House Martin, 50 + Swift, Garden Warbler, 2 singing Meadow Pipit, Skylark, 3 male Pochard, pair of Reed Bunting, Kestrel, 2 Noctules (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: Red Kite, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 4 singing Reed Warbler (Shoulder of Mutton), 12 House Martin (Nick Croft)

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