27 September 2015

A Tail of a Mouse, a Mite and Rails

Saturday 26th September was bright and sunny so I went to the old sewage works to help Tim with some mini-beast trapping. We had no luck, but while surveying the felt squares Tim spyed a small mouse just off the path.7

Initially it was thought this could be a Harvest Mouse, a first for the patch, however the tide has turned against this diagnosis as Arlington Reservoir (?) believes this is a baby Wood Mouse. Whatever, this is a patch mammal tick for me and it was just a bit cute.

My total mammal list for Wanstead now hovers near double figures! Is anyone into mouse mites?

The Roding beckoned and a little while later I saw an adult Water rail on the far bank. It proceeded for the next ten minutes in typical furtive fashion, trotting, rushing, turning and generally throwing shapes in an upstream direction.

It then pushed off and swam across the river, I know they do swim but I had never seen one do it before. They look very different on the water (a bit like a Finfoot, he said pretentiously).

On reaching the near bank it kept walking and disturbed another Water Rail, which I just glimpsed as it fluttered up. Five minutes later I saw what I took to be the same bird on the far bank again, it was an adult anyway. After an entertaining half-hour I walked back, only to meet James in Rail twitch mode. Retracing my steps the Rail duly performed in the patch of rushes I'd last seen it in, British Rail on time shock.

Last year we had juvenile Water Rail in the same area so perhaps we do have breeding Water Rail on our small part of the Roding.

20 September 2015

Autumn migration week 7: 13th–20th September

Surely all good things come to an end?  Not just yet. Redstart were the most likely to be missing, but eleven were recorded for the week.  It was Whinchats that flinched first and for the first time in over a month there was one day when one was not seen. There is still time for more and hopefully for more Wheatear–its been poor so far–and maybe too for Spotted Flycatcher.

The main movers were the warblers: Common and Lesser Whitethroat have probably all gone now, we may some migrants, but strangely we never notice numbers increasing as in the case of say Chiffchaff. A lone Willow Warbler was recorded today (Sunday) and only singles during the week. Definitely new in was the female/1w Stonechat (the first of the winter)

What the week will be remembered for is the mass movement–mostly in the wrong direction–of Swallow and to a lesser extent Sand and House Martins on Friday and Saturday. Friday I estimated over 600 during my time on the flats with, at several times, hundreds of hirundine stacked up from grass level to cloud level.  I thought that was good, but Saturday dawned grey and cold and very soon news was coming in from Tony B at the Alex and Jono by the vismig point of huge masses piling up.  Where I enter the flats at the Angel big numbers were also present. Wherever you looked the masses swirled.

Wanstead birders were getting all poetical as they expressed themselves on twitter:

"You know when you raise your bins and look at the stars?  It's like that, except birds" JL
"Streams and streams of Swallows–just wonderful" TB
"All birders get outside NOW.  The passage is immense" JL
"The sky is full, it is magic" JL

[you can read Tony's rhapsody in full here http://www.thecowboybirder.com/ and I am sure Jono will wax lyrical at some point]

As the clouds dissipated so did the birds and by 09:00 there was just a trickle, and a few hours later there were none. I've been lucky enough to witness mass movements of hirundine most years since I've been plodding the patch and numbers have exceeded my ability to count them on several occasions, but least I was able to give it a go.  Pretty soon on Saturday it dawned on us, we didn't have a chance. Several thousand is as vague as it can be, but neatly sums up the magnitude of the movement. Today we were back to a trickle, but at least they were heading in the right direction. When they are gone I will feel sad, these characterful birds make the summer, it will be a long winter till they return.

15 September 2015

In praise of the Spotted Flycatcher

And time slows as the squeak of a Spotted Flycatcher slows the rusted clock - and peace takes a half hour heartbeat

Richard Hargreaves
A Half Hour Heartbeat

Got to love em. Always  have. I remember my father showing me my first Spotty many decades ago in the fields behind my grandmother's house in Davenham, Cheshire, later I would find them in neighbours gardens or the overgrown orchard behind our house.  It would be August and I would be filling my days with my own personal bird race in the last weeks before school started again. I don't think they nested nearby, but in those days the were much more widespread than today while their breeding range retreats north.  In London they are confined to a small handful of places and getting scarcer.  Never really a spring bird on patch and one of the last migrants to return means they can't hang about, but in Autumn they make up for it.  And how!

13 September 2015

Autumn Migration 2015, week 6: 4–12th September

And there was I thinking that this would be the last of these such undertakings as our migrant festival disappeared to the coast, but then just when you think you have an evening off, bam!

  • Wanstead Flats: 6 Common Redstart, 8 Whinchat, Wheatear, 7+ Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 6 Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, 4 Pied Wagtail, Skylark, 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull, c. 200 Swallow south then north in the afternoon, Sand Martin, 20 + House Martin, 2 Willow Warbler, 20 + Chiffchaff, 10 + Blackcap, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Common Whitethroat, 4 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 37 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, 3 Teal, 10 Little Grebe, 50 + Siskin (Wanstead Birders)
  • Wanstead Park: 3 Spotted Flycatcher, Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Little Egret, Kingfisher, 33 Gadwall (Tim Harris/James Heal)

There was I thinking with migration starting early we would be twiddling our thumbs till the thrushes rush us. Perhaps what's more interesting than a heap more Redstart, Whinchat and flycatchers is the invasion of Siskin–stand around long enough and you will soon hear their plaintive call. Not surprisingly with a lacking of anything coniferous they have been making do with the birch seeds, which as far as I can make out yet are not quite ripe (the Jays are doing much the same with un-ripe acorns). Presumably their numbers are down (or up) to two good spruce harvests and a booming population.

Yesterday we finally got belated confirmation, via twitter, that while I am still crap at gulls all is not lost, of our 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull with Tony's sharp pics getting the thumbs up.  Not sure it's the same one I snapped nearly two months ago, but one or other is a daily visitor to the flats.  That saying we don't have many gulls at present.

This week we tried our best to cock-up a few things again.  Firstly Bob recorded an unusual call in the SSSI, which did sound interesting if not somewhat familiar to me.  It's only when I got home and put the headphones on did the memory come flooding back: a sodding Great Tit, which had me excited for about 20 minutes before it gave itself up.  While we waited and snapped Siskin by Motorcycle Wood a rather more interesting call came from that direction, just the once mind you. Clearly not a Chiffchaff, but after playing some playback of what we wanted it to be, I am buggered if I can recall it at all...

The weather is set to change again tonight bringing more unsettled days of wind and wet, but I care not as I have new Muck boots prepared for Shetland, which I christened in the biggest pile of dog pooh on the planet while trying to sort out another one of my "could have been a interesting bird but.." moments.

7 September 2015

Autumn migration 2015, week 5; August 30–September 6

Have we peeked too early?  It seems like everything we might expect has come and gone. Redstart and Whinchat numbers declined throughout the week, only the Spotted Flycatchers remained constant. The Wryneck only lasted three days–poor in comparison with what its predecessors had managed, but had it been there since Saturday? Maybe! I heard an alarm call while staking out the Redstart in the enclosure on Saturday, which sounded quite woopeckery, and quite like nothing I had heard before.  I checked xeno canto for Wryneck alarm calls–handily there were examples and a near match, or that could be the mind influenced immediately by the recording replacing what you did hear with what you want to hear. A rumour has it that someone had a sighting on the Sunday, but the accolade of finder goes to Mick Orme, visiting from North London in the hope of seeing Pied Flycatcher having dipped them on the Saturday.

That was our fourth bird in six years and probably the most un-cooperative one of the lot, but perhaps we are expecting too much after a record month for migrants. With most of the lingerers gone their place is now being taken by Goldcrest and an invasion of Siskin.  What's going on there then? Earlier this year I relayed news that Siskin had stayed put during the winter as a result of a bumper spruce cone harvest, and this could be why we are getting birds now.  A population explosion or the depletion of this food source, or both. It is nice to here their sad calls again, but I am not sure it makes up for the lack of Redstart, Pied Fly and now Common Whitethroat that also appear to have hoofed it.

This week the wind is changing again, turning to a more easterly direction–so certainly good for eastern coastal sites and some stuff might get through to us.  A Barred Warbler would be nice (congratulations to Lee Dingain for his find at Staines and Gary James for his Gallions Reach bird) if only to compensate for the "not proven" tag given to our last one by the London Records Committee–I am having it anyway it was soo a Barred!  We tried to pluck something out of obscurity this week in the form of a strange lark, with very little in the tail department that refused to call and due to its lack of tail looked very interesting. Crap views in crap weather had us (OK me) of Bimaculated Lark (that would suffice!), but it finally called after the umpteenth boot... eugh!

If nothing good turns up over the next few days it could be a long wait for the ouzels...

2 September 2015

August round up: Seeing red!

Well that was pretty good, when it kicked off on the 11th with the arrival of juvenile looking Whinchat in the pub scrub, and later that day a Spotted Flycatcher in Long Wood.  It just got steadily more crazy after that. Certainly the best autumn our sadly lacking reporting has managed, and we are not through September yet. The only issue is the lack of reports from the park, and with Dan now holed up in a caravan in Dorset, whose going to look out for ducks during the autumn. With everything happening around Long Wood I can't see many of venturing that way for a few weeks.  Maybe the closure of the Costa at the Esso garage will persuade us to venture down to the tea hut of happiness. The problem is the park, too much cover and when you get there it's like migration's not happening.

(Possibly one of the worst record shots of a Wryneck you are ever likely to see!)

I will add more in due course, but I am completely cream-crackered with all these early starts...

Scores on the doors for August past and present:

Whinchat: 79 [22 2014; 20+ 2013]
Common Redstart: 52 [22;5]
Northern Wheatear: 24 [25;8]

Spotted Flycatcher: 60 [49;8]
Pied Flycatcher: 11 [2;7]

Reed Warbler: 19 [N/A;10]
Wood Warbler: 1 [1;0]

Yellow Wagtail: 56 [37;20-30]
Tree Pipit: 29 [16;1]

Green Sandpiper: 4 [2;N/A]
Common Sandpiper: 2 [2;2]
Common Snipe 1

Siskin: 10+
Bullfinch: 1
Yellowhammer: 1

Swallow: 133+
Sand Martin: 2

Red Kite: 1

Wryneck: 1 [-;-]

Now while some of the numbers look fantastic for the records for this year, it must be remembered that the bulk of the records are for long staying birds–that's the theme for this year, birds lingering and arriving earlier: Whinchat a good case in point, almost 10 days before they usually arrive. What this means for September we have yet to find out. The numbers above also don't give a true representation of the actual numbers involved (up to Green Sandpiper) and are "bird days", so while Pied Flycatcher were reported on 11 occasions there certainly weren't 11 individuals, indeed I would surprised if there were half that number

Wanstead Flats: Little Owl, Siskin, Goldcrest (Tony Brown), 2-3 Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler, 6 + Lesser Whitethroat, Sand Martin, Swallow, 14 + House Martin, 10 + Swift, Meadow Pipit, 3 Pied Wagtail, 3 singing Skylark, Nuthatch, 3 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: 5 Lesser Whitethroat (family), 2 Kestrel, 3-5 Sparrowhawk (including young), 3 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Little Grebe, Little Egret, Swallow, 10 + House Martin, 20 + Swift, Grass Snake (Nick Croft/Mike Messenger/James Heal)

Wanstead Flats: 30 + House Martin, m Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel, 3 Skylark (Bob Vaughan/Nick Croft)

Wanstead Flats: 100 + Swift moving ssw, 10 + House Martin, Sand Martin, Swallow, 4-5 Willow Warbler, 1-2 Hobby (one with prey), Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel, Common Snipe, Tern sp heading north, 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull, 100 + Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, 10 + Lesser Black-backed Gull (3 first winter), 5 Gadwall, 2 Egyptian Goose, 3 Little Grebe (Dan Hennessy/Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 40 + Swift in 10 minutes going south over Heronry (Dan Hennessy)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: 2 Common Tern over Eagle early am,Treecreeper, 2 Nuthatch, Great crested Grebe, 8 Chiffchaff (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats: Peregrine Falcon, 4-5 Kestrel, 3 Meadow Pipit, 3 Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler, 6 Lesser Whitethroat, Swallow, 15 + House Martin, 6 Swift, 2 Gadwall, 4 Pochard, 4 Egyptian Goose, 4 Little Grebe, Purple Hairstreaks (Dan Hennessy/Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: Green Sandpiper over, Gadwall, Hobby (Dan Hennessy)

Wanstead Flats: 10 + Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler, 10 + Swift, 10 + House Martin, Swallow, Reed Bunting, 2 Common Gull, 1st winter Yellow-Legged Gull, 4 Pochard, Little Grebe with 2 young, 4 Kestrel, 2 Meadow Pipit, 12 Mistle Thrush (Nick Croft/Dan Hennesssy/Bob Vaughan/Jono Lethbridge)
Wanstead Park: 15 + Swift, 2 House Martin, Buzzard, Hobby, 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, Kingfisher, Little Egret, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Pochard, 3 Grey Wagtail (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Flats: 2 Reed Warbler, 5 Willow Warbler, 10 + Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Garden Warbler, 20 + House Martin, no Swift, 3 Meadow Pipit (one carrying food), 3 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 2 Gadwall, 6 Little Grebe, 2 Linnet (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan/Dan Hennessy), Jersey Tiger and Brown Argus (Dan Hennessy)

Wanstead Flats: Little Owl, Peregrine Falcon, 3 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 7 Lesser Whitehtroat, Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler, 5 Willow Warbler, Swallow, 10 + House Martin, 2 Pochard, 7 Little Grebe, Yellow-legged Gull (1st winter again), 3 Meadow Pipit, Linnet (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Flats: 2 Common Buzzard, Hobby, 4 Kestrel, 2 Sparrowhawk, Meadow Pipit, 2 Willow Wabler, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 9 Pochard, 7 Little Grebe, 8 Swift, 20 + House Martin, Yellow-Legged Gull (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Park: 2 Little Egret, Kingfisher, Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Swift, 5 House Martin, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, 3 Grey Wagtail, Buzzard sp (Bob Vaughan/Nick Croft)

Wanstead Flats: 3 Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Kestrel, 2-4 Sparrowhawk, Reed Bunting, 13 Goldfinch, Meadow Pipit, 2 Pied Wagtail, 2 Swift, 15 + House Martin (Nick Croft)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: 2 Treecreeper (one in court grounds), Lesser Whitethroat, 1-2 Common Whitethroat, 3 juv Blackcap, 2-3 young Sparrowhawk calling, 2 Goldcrest, 3 Coal Tit (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats: juv Whinchat (pub scrub), Spotted Flycatcher (enclosure), Green Sandpiper (h), 6 Willow Warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Meadow Pipit, 10 + House Martin, 10 Gadwall, f Teal, f Shoveler, 10 + Little Grebe (5 young), 3 Sparrowhawk, 4 Kestrel, Skylark (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan); Pied Flycatcher, 7 Willow Warbler, Red Kite (Dan Hennessy/Marco Johnson)

Wanstead Flats: 2 Whinchat, Sedge Warbler (pub scrub), singing Reed Warbler, 10 + Willow Warbler, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 13 Swallow, 10 + House Martin, 8 Gadwall, 4 Pochard, 4 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk (Dan Hennessy/Nick Croft)

Wanstead Flats: Whinchat still pub scrub, 2 Wheatear, Spotted Flycatcher, 6 + Willow Warbler, 5 + Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, 15 Swift, 4 Swallow, 10 + House Martin, 6 Gadwall, 4 Pochard, 10 + Little Grebe, Skylark, 4 Kestrel, 200 + Starling, Jersey Tiger  (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Whinchat still pub scrub, Spotted Flycatcher still Long Wood but elusive, Garden Warbler, 4 + Willow Warbler, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 20 + Common Whitethroat, 50 + Swift, 30 + House Martin, 7 Swallow, 4 Gadwall, Teal, 4 Pochard, 6 Egyptian Goose, Hobby, 4 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk (Wanstead Birders)

Leyton Flats: 4 Siskin, Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Common Whitethroat, 3+ Blackcap, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, 10 Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler plus tit flock all in one area E of Hollow Pond during the morning, also 7 Swift over, juv Sparrowhawk calling (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats: Pied Flycatcher (different bird from this week), Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Whinchat, 10 + Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Reed Warbler, Peregrine Falcon, 4 Kestrel, Linnet, Reed Bunting, 1 Swift, Swallow, 10 + House Martin (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: 4 Swift, 4 House Martin, 2 Kingfisher, 2 Little Egret, 7 Little Grebe, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 12 + Pochard,, 4 Gadwall, Goldcrest, Grey Wagtail, Lesser Whitethroat (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Flats: Whinchat, 6 + Willow Warbler, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Swallow, 10 + House Martin, 40 + Swift, Sparrowhawk, 4 Kestrel, 4 Pied Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, 4 Pochard, 2 Gadwall, 2 Reed Bunting (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Flats: Common Redstart, Whinchat, Tree Pipit, 6 Yellow Wagtail, 10 + Lesser Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler, 8 Swallow, 6 + House Martin, Gadwall, Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel, Linnet (Nick Croft/John Whele/Marco Johnson)

Wanstead Flats: 3 Tree Pipit, 2 Meadow Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat still pub scrub, f Wheatear,  2 Willow Warbler, 2 Garden Warbler, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Swallow, House Martin, 3 Gadwall, 5 Tufted Duck, 5 Little Grebe, Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel, Linnet (Bob Vaughan/Tim Harris/Nick Croft/Barry Bishop)

Wanstead Flats: 2 Common Redstart, 2 Wheatear, Whinchat, 3 Tree Pipit, 2 Meadow Pipit, 5 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 10 + Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, 10 Swift,, 20 + House Martin, 10 Swallow, 4 Gadwall, 6 Pochard, 3 Egyptian Goose, 4 Kestrel (Wanstead Birders)

Leyton Flats/Snaresbrook: Tree Pipit briefly by the burnt oaks, 4 Common Whitethroat, 10+ Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Swallow N, f Shoveler (Eagle Pond) (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats: m Common Redstart, Whinchat, 3 Tree Pipit, 2-3 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Reed Warbler, 3 Garden Warbler, 10 + Lesser Whitethroat, mixed flock of 30 + Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler in the SSSI, 4 Swift, 20 + House Martin, 5 Gadwall, 4 Pochard, 3 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk (Wanstead Birders)

Leyton Flats: 3 Siskin, 2 Willow Warbler (Stuart Fisher)

Wanstead Flats: Common Redstart briefly, Whinchat, 4-5 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Pied Wagtail, 3 Tree Pipit still, f Peregrine Falcon, Hobby, 3 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Bullfinch, Swallow, 30 + House Martin, 10 + Swift, large flock of mixed Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler still in SSSI, Reed Warbler, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 20 + Common Whitethroat (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Flats: f Common  Redstart, Whinchat, 5 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Tree Pipit, 4 Yellow Wagtail, Skylark, Garden Warbler, Reed Warbler, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 30 + Goldfinch, Reed Bunting, 2 Swallow, 30 + House Martin, 2 Swift, 2 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Hobby (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Flats:   Pied Flycatcher (Twitter), 4-5 Spotted Flycatcher, Common Redstart (f), 4-6 Whinchat, Tree Pipit, 6 Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, 4 Pied Wagtail, 2 Garden Warbler, 5 + Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler/Chiffchaff mixed flock in SSSI, Swallow, 20 + House Martin, 2 Swift, 2 Peregrine Falcon (being mobbed by Hobby), 2-3 Sparrowhawk, 4 Kestrel (Wanstead Birders)
Wanstead Flats: 3-4 Whinchat, Wheatear, 5 Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, 6 Swallow, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Willow Warbler, Kestrel, 8 Gadwall (Nick Croft/Dan Hennessy) Whinchat, juv m Wheatear still after the rain, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Swallow, Swift, Reed Warbler (Nick Croft)


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)

Wanstead Flats: Common Redstart, 3 Whinchat, 3 Wheatear, 4 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Common Sandpiper, Garden Warbler, Reed Warbler, large mixed flock of Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Lesser and Common Whitethroat in the SSSI, 2 Swallow, 10 Gadwall, 3 Pochard, 2 Sparrowhawk, 4 Kestrel, Hobby, 2 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull (Nick Croft/Tim Harris/Dan Hennessy/John Whele)

Wanstead Park: 22 Gadwall, 2 Pochard, 2 Great Crested Grebe, Kingfisher, Nuthatch (Dan Hennessy)

Wanstead Flats: 6 Common Redstart, 6 Whinchat, 2 Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, 4 Pied Wagtail, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Garden Warbler, Reed Warbler, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 6 + Willow Warbler, 2 Sand Martin, House Martin, 4 Kestrel, 7 Gadwall, Pochard (Wanstead Birders), Hobby, Common Buzzard, 2 Whitethroat, 8 House Martin (Steven Robinson)

Leyton Flats: Hobby hunting and Buzzard over north 15:50. Sparrowhawk, 2 Shoveler, 1 Gadwall. (Joe Dickens)

Wanstead Flats: 8-9 Common Redstart, 6 Whinchat, 2 Pied Flycatcher, 8 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Tree Pipit, 7 Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, 4 Pied Wagtail, 2 Garden Warbler, 6 + Willow Warbler, 8 Lesser Whitethroat, 8 Swallow, 10 + House Martin, Linnet, Green Sandpiper, 4 Kestrel, 2-3 Sparrowhawk, Yellow-legged Gull (1st winter), 5 Gadwall, 8 Little Grebe (Wanstead Birders) I haven't been to Wanstead Flats before so can you recommend a particular part of the Flats to visit in an afternoon and hopefully seen some of what you've seen here? (Andy Cameron) The afternoon is not that great as birds tend to hide for the most part, there is a map on the blog, but Long Wood is where the action has been mostly.

Wanstead Flats: 7+ Common Redstart, 6 Whinchat, 7+ Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Tree Pipit, 6 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Grey Wagtail, Yellowhammer, Siskin, Hobby taking House Martin, 1-2 Buzzard, 5 Kestrel, 2 Sparrowhawk, Little Owl calling at 15:00, Garden Warbler, 6 + Willow Warbler, 8 + Lesser Whitethroat, Nuthatch, 17 Gadwall, 4 Pochard, Egyptian Goose (Wanstead Birders + Paul Hawkins et al) 2 Pied Flycatcher in hawthorns to the south of the brick pit early afternoon (Conrad Ellam) Nice work–NC

Leyton Flats: Tree Pipit (Pete Betts)


Wanstead Flats: 10+ Common Redstart, 8 Whinchat, Wheatear, 2-3 Pied Flycatcher, 6 Spotted Flycatcher, Wood Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler, 10+ Willow Warbler, 10+ Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Tree Pipit, 5 Yellow Wagtail, 30+ Swallow, 10+ House Martin, 5 Gadwall, Little Egret, 5 Kestrel, 2 Sparrowhawk, Skylark, 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull (Wanstead Birders et al)

Wanstead: Pied Flycatcher (BirdGuides) 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 5 Common Redstart, 12 Whinchat, 3 Wheatear, Tree Pipit, 2 Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, 5 + Willow Warbler, singing Chiffchaff, 6 + Lesser Whitethroat, 20 + Swallow, 3 Teal, Shoveler, 3 Pochard, 17 Gadwall (Nick Croft/Tim Harris/Tony Brown)