3 April 2015

Capricious March

It started pretty well, but how we forget that things can go a bit flat. And they did. Of my birds to watch out for only Rook and of course Wheatear came through, can't imagine why there was no Great Spotted Cuckoo. A rush of four separate one-day Stonechats gave us hope of some early migrant movers, backed up by singing Chiffchaff (at last) also on the 7th.  Mr Fisher then pitched in with the first Red Kite and a jaffa of a Mandarin before a frenzied five days brought us Owl, Rook, Martin and Wheatear leaving us three down on last year.

Some highlights

  • Court appearances again for the Firecrest
  • Four Stonechat days and four birds (2 male)
  • No over-wintering Chiffchaff but a welcome return
  • Mandarin and Red Kite on the 9th (another Kite on the 19th)
  • Woodcock sightings in the SSSI
  • 2 Sand Martin by the end of the month
  • A Water Rail returns to the Shoulder of Mutton
  • Rooks are regular (relatively)
  • A good month for Peregrine sightings
  • Short-eared Owl poser
  • Oh! and a rather smart male five-day Wheatear
With ducks down, gulls going, the only hint of winter was the weather a few tardy turdus in the form of Redwing and Fieldfare lingering to the end of the month.  Coming the other way were Stonechat, followed by Chaffinch then an increase in Meadow Pipit movement into April. The Skylarks started setting about territories to be joined by three mipit singing from the brooms. By the end of the month Blackcap had arrived, but not in the numbers that Chiffchaff had reached by then - the bird chorus has gone up a notch or two.  Now if we can only get the wind to swing round to the south east...

Wanstead Flats:
6 Little Grebe, Shoveler, Skylark (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 10 Gadwall, 2 Great Crested Grebe (the inappropriate pair still displaying), 3 Little Grebe, Kingfisher, Kestrel (Nick Croft)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: Treecreeper and Nuthatch (Gilberts Slade), 15 Linnet SW, singing Goldcrest, 13 Shoveler on Eagle Pond, no sign of Firecrest since Weds (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats:
28 Tufted Duck, 5 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 5 Little Grebe, 3 Pied Wagtail, 2-3 singing Skylark, 3 Linnet, singing Goldcrest, a number of dead frogs and one dollop of frog's spawn Cat & Dog (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Flats:
Reed Bunting f, 3 Linnet, 5 Little Grebe, 4 Gadwall, 2 Shoveler, 10+ Tufted Duck, 4-6 Skylark, Grey Wagtail, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 24 Gadwall, 5 Shoveler, 20+ Tufted Duck, 4 Teal, 4 Little Grebe, 2 adult Great Crested Grebe, 8+ Redwing some singing (Nick Croft)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: m Firecrest singing fr laurel hedge in court grounds, singing Treecreeper (Gilberts Slade), Nuthatch (Court), 6 Song Thrush, Goldcrest, Coal Tit, 10 Shoveler, Sparrowhawk (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats:
2 Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, 4-5 Skylark, 3 Linnet, 5 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 4-5 Little Grebe, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Flats: Stonechat
(Dan Hennessy), 7+ Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Linnet, 2 Shoveler, 2 Stock Dove, Kestrel, 1-2 Sparrowhawk (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: singing Chiffchaff briefly, 3 Goldcrest 2 singing, Nuthatch, 2-3 Kingfisher, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Little Grebe, 2 Little Egret, 32 Gadwall, 26 Shoveler, 4 Teal, 20+ Tufted Duck, 2 Egyptian Goose, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft/BobVaughan)

Wanstead Flats: m Stonechat
, Fieldfare, 7+ Skylark, 4 Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Reed Bunting, 4 Stock Dove, Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: Water Rail, 2 Little Egret, Kingfisher, Chiffchaff, 2 Egyptian Goose, 32 Gadwall, 11 Pochard, 9 Tufted Duck, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Little Grebe Basin (Bob Vaughan/James Heal)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: drake Mandarin
on tiny pool nr Gilberts Slade early am flew off S, Red Kite SE 12:55, singing male Firecrest, 1-2 Treecreeper, 2 singing Nuthatch, singing m Blackcap mid-am in court, 16 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall, singing Grey Wagtail, c70 Redwing thru, Siskin thru, 5-6 Song Thrush, 2 singing Goldcrest, Coal Tit (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats:
3-4 singing Skylark, Meadow Pipit, 2 Shoveler, 4 Little Grebe, Sparrowhawk, pair of Kestrel (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: Lesser Redpoll, Skylark N, 5 Gadwall, 6 Shoveler, pair of Teal, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Grebe (Nick Croft); Bush Wood South- 4 Stock Dove, 14 Wren territories, 5 Song Thrush territories, 2 Goldcrests including singing male (T Harris)

Wanstead Flats:
2 Kestrel, 3-4 singing Skylark, 2 Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, singing m Reed Bunting, singing Chiffchaff, 10 Little Grebe, f Pochard (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 12 Stock Dove, 2 Little Grebe, 11 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall (ornamentals), 2 Teal, Kingfisher, 15+ Redwing incl singers, calling Nuthatch, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Flats: f Stonechat
(pub scrub), singing Reed Bunting, m Bullfinch, 3-4 Chiffchaff 3 singers, 5+ Skylark, 3 Meadow Pipit 1 displaying, Grey Wagtail, 3 Pied Wagtail, 2 Shoveler, 2f Pochard, leucistic Greylag being chased by local Mute Swans, 5 Little Grebe, 2 Sparrowhawk, Kestrel (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Flats: Short-eared Owl
looking to roost & landed twice, 3-4 singing Skylark, 7+ Meadow Pipit, singing Reed Bunting, 4 Pochard, 2 Shoveler, 3 Egyptian Goose, 3+ Little Grebe, 2 Kestrel, 3 Chiffchaff (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Park: Little Egret, Kingfisher, 2 Coal Tit, 4+ Chiffchaff, singing Blackcap, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Little Grebe, 2 Teal, 2 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall, Goldcrest (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan/Dan Hennessy)

Wanstead Flats: 2 Rook, Woodcock
, Common Snipe, 2 unidentified small waders N, Common Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 10+ Meadow Pipit, 5+ Skylark, 3+ Chiffchaff, pr of Reed Bunting, Linnet, 3 Stock Dove, 2 Great Black-backed Gull, 10 Shoveler, pr of Teal, 5+ Little Grebe (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: Sand Martin (Josh Selfe), 20+ Gadwall, 5-7 Teal, 4 Shoveler, pr Great Crested Grebe, 4 Little Grebe, Linnet, 3-4 Chiffchaff, 2 Sparrowhawk (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Flats:
Redwing, Fieldfare, 5 Mistle Thrush, Meadow Pipit, 3 singing Skylark, Kestrel, 2 Gadwall, 2-3 Chiffchaff (Dan Hennessy/Bob Vaughan/Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: Water Rail, Kingfisher, Little Egret, 6 Teal, 20 Gadwall, 17 Shoveler, 30+ Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, pr Great Crested Grebe, Sparrowhawk, 2 Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, 15+ Redwing (Dan Hennessy/Nick Croft)

Wanstead Flats:
8 Linnet, singing Reed Bunting, 5+ Meadow Pipit 1 displaying, 2 singing Skylark, 6 Shoveler, 3 Pochard, 5+ Little Grebe, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 3 singing Chiffchaff (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan/John Weil)

Wanstead Park: Grey Wagtail (Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Flats:
6 Linnet, 2-3 Reed Bunting, 7+ Meadow Pipit, 3 Pied Wagtail, 4 Skylark, 3 singing Chiffchaff, 9 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall, m Pochard, 4 Little Grebe (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: Nuthatch, singing Chiffchaff both Bush Wood (Jono Lethbridge/Bob Vaughan)

LeytonFlats/Snaresbrook: singing male Reed Bunting (Leyton Flats), 2 Treecreeper (one in the court grounds), Nuthatch, Common Buzzard N, pr Egyptian Geese with 3 chicks on Hollow, Common Snipe (Leyton Flats), 12 Shoveler, pr Gadwall, 1-2 singing Chiffchaff, singing Blackcap in court grounds, 2 Coal Tit, pr Grey Wagtail but no sign of Firecrest today (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats:
1 Common Snipe (over brooms), 5-6 singing Skylarks, 3 singing Meadow Pipits, 1 singing Northern Wheatear (on fairground), male Stonechat, Chiffchaff (Tim Harris, Bob Vaughan); Wheatear still at 16:00, singing Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail (Forest Gate), Skylark, Kestrel, Common Snipe (Nick Croft/Tony Brown)

Wanstead Flats: 1 Northern Wheatear
5+ Meadow Pipit, 4 Pied Wagtail, 4 Skylark, 3 singing Chiffchaff, pr Reed Bunting, 2 Linnet, 7 Chaffinch through, Kestrel, 6 Little Grebe, 2 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 4 Fieldfare N (Nick Croft/Eve Wie); Red Kite (Marco Johnson)

Wanstead Park: 3 singing Chiffchaff, singing Blackcap, pr Grey Wagtail, Kingfisher, Water Rail, Little Egret, 16 Gadwall, 9 Shoveler, pr Little Grebe, pr Great Crested Grebe, Redwing (Nick Croft)
Forest Gate: 13 Redwing N (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Flats: m Wheatear still at Alex, 40+ Chaffinch N, 10+ Goldfinch, 2-4 Linnet, f Reed Bunting, 4 Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, 4 Skylark, 3 Stock Dove, 2 Gadwall, pr Little Grebe, 3 singing Chiffchaff (Nick Croft); 4 Shoveler , 4 Little Grebe, Sparrowhawk , Kestrel, Chiffchaff singing at Alex but no sign of Wheatear c15.00 (Ian Stewart)

Wanstead Park: Little Egret, 16 Gadwall, 10 Shoveler, pr of Teal, 7 Stock Dove, pr Great Crested Grebe, pr of Little Grebe, Kestrel, 4 singing Chiffchaff (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Flats: Northern Wheatear
still, Woodcock, Common Snipe, 2 Peregrine Falcon, 2-3 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, 50+ Chaffinch through, 4 Linnet, Lesser Redpoll, Redwing, 6 Mistle Thrush, 5 Meadow Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail, 4+ Skylark, 4 Chiffchaff, Blackcap, 2 Gadwall, f Pochard, 2 Shoveler, 5 Little Grebe (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: 21 Chaffinch, 3 Bullfinch, 25 Redwing, 5 Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Goldcrest, 2 Little Egret, 17 Stock Dove, pr of Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, 13 Gadwall, 10 Shoveler (Nick Croft/Dan Hennessy)

Wanstead Flats: Northern Wheatear
still, Woodcock, 3 Lapwing, 30+ Meadow Pipit north (3 birds singing on territory), 4 Pied Wagtail, 4 singing Skylark, 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, Redwing, 2 Linnet, 20+ Goldfinch, 8 Chaffinch through, 6 Pochard, 4 Shoveler, 4 Little Grebe 2pr, 3 singing Chiffchaff (Wanstead Birders) Woodcock again in the evening (Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Park: (Bush Wood breeding birds survey) 2 Coal Tit, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 6 Song Thrush, 2 Blackbird, 19 Wren (James Heal)

Wanstead Flats:
20 Meadow Pipit through (Jonathan Lethbridge); 60+ Meadow Pipit N (over a wide front so the total could have been considerably more), 2 Pied Wagtail, 6 Skylark, Linnet, 8 Chaffinch N, Reed Bunting, Peregrine Falcon, Common Buzzard, 2-3 Kestrel, 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Shoveler, 5 Little Grebe, 4-5 Chiffchaff (Nick Croft/Barry Bishop)

Wanstead Park: 11 Meadow Pipit over incl 10 over Wanstead HS, singing Coal Tit, Chiffchaff (Dan Hennessy)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: Treecreeper, 1-2 Nuthatch singing, 3 singing Chiffchaff, 12+ Meadow Pipit N, 5 Song Thrush, 7 Redwing, Sparrowhawk, Grey Wagtail, 2 Linnet SW, 2 Goldcrest, 4 Shoveler (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats:
36 Meadow Pipit (30 through north & 2 singing birds & 4 others on deck), 4 singing Skylark, Linnet, Reed Bunting, 10 Shoveler, 20+ Tufted Duck, 4 Little Grebe, 2 Stok Dove, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 5 singing Chiffchaff (Nick Croft); 1 Northern Wheatear (Tony Brown)

Wanstead Park: 6 Meadow Pipit N, 3 Redwing, 8 singing Chiffchaff, Little Egret, 2 Little Grebe, 14 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, Water Rail, Kestrel (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Flats:
30+ Meadow Pipit (3 singing males), Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, 4 singing Skylark, 6 Chiffchaff (4 singing), Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 1-2 Reed Bunting, 10 Shoveler, 3 Pochard, 6 Little Grebe, 7 Redwing (Nick Croft/Tim Harris/Dan Hennessy)

Wanstead Park: Water Rail (Shoulder of Mutton), 17 Shoveler (Ornamental Waters) (Tony Brown)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: Treecreeper, 2 Nuthatch, 4 Redwing, Coal Tit, 10 Shoveler, Little Egret E (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats:
3 Redwing, Fieldfare, Reed Bunting, 20+ Meadow Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail, 3 singing Skylark, 6 Chiffchaff, Kestrel, 3 Shoveler, 4 Little Grebe (Bob Vaughan/Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: Bullfinch, Water Rail, Kingfisher, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 14 Gadwall, 6 Shoveler, 3 Redwing, 5 singing Chiffchaff, 2 Meadow Pipit (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Flats:
5 territorial Skylark, 12 Meadow Pipit 2 singing & 10 N, singing Stock Dove, Sparrowhawk f, 2 Kestrel, 4 Shoveler, 1m Gadwall, 1m Pochard, 4 Little Grebe, 7 Chiffchaff, singing Blackcap (Nick Croft/Tim Harris)

Wanstead Park: Water Rail, 11 Gadwall, 2 Shoveler, f Teal, pr of Little Grebe, Sparrowhawk m, 9 singing Chiffchaff (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Flats:
3-4 Reed Bunting, Redwing, 2 Egyptian Goose, 2 Shoveler, Little Grebe, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 4 singing Chiffchaff (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: Water Rail, 8 Gadwall, 2 Shoveler, pr Great Crested Grebe, Kingfisher, singing Blackcap, 8 singing Chiffchaff, 4 Redwing, 10 Lesser Black-backed Gull over (Nick Croft/Tim Harris)

Wanstead Flats:
Reed Bunting, 4 Chiffchaff (Dan Hennessy/Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Park: 10 Chiffchaff, pr Teal, 19 Shoveler, pr Great Crested Grebe (Dan Hennessy)

Wanstead Flats:
10 Shoveler, 4 Little Grebe, 2 singing Blackcap, 4 singing Chiffchaff, 2 Redwing, 6 Meadow Pipit, 4 singing Skylark, Reed Bunting, 2 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 12 singing Chiffchaff, 3 singing Blackcap, 7 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, Kingfisher, Little Egret, Peregrine Falcon, 3-4 Sparrowhawk, pr Great Crested Grebe, 2 Coal Tit, Nuthatch, 2 Bullfinch, Meadow Pipit (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: Treecreeper, singing Nuthatch, singing Chiffchaff, 4+ Shoveler, pr Gadwall, 3 Pochard, 6 Song Thrush, Redwing (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats:
Sand Martin, 7 Shoveler, 6 Little Grebe, singing Meadow Pipit, 4 Skylark, 4 Chiffchaff, Kestrel, 2 Reed Bunting (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 6 Gadwall, 2 Shoveler, 10 Chiffchaff, 5 Stock Dove (Nick Croft)

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