21 January 2017

Oh OK then.....

Where is Nick? This blog needs him really, as I am rather engaged in other things. Luckily this month has seen an attack of verbal diarrhoea the likes of which I've rarely caught, so I am able to run (ho ho) in parallel so to speak. 

I met Bob out on the Flats early morning. Actually he met Mrs L on our drive and inquired as to where I was. Upstairs pulling my jeans on was the answer as it happened but I made short work of this and met him at the end of the road before he'd even seen a bird. Together we meandered across the Flats looking for winter flocks of Lapwing or Golden Plover. Together we saw nothing, but it was good to shoot the breeze as it feels like I've barely seen another birder this year.

We were at Alex when the hoped-for event happened. I was photographing the dodgy Greylag when I noticed a small flock of Lapwing coming in from the east. Bob did the counting, I did the papping. I've not managed to squeeze them all in , but there were 18 (count 'em!). I didn't get Lapwing last year at all, the first time for about forever, so this was very pleasing. Less pleasing was the small spaniel thing whose owners think it is perfectly acceptable for it to hare around chasing birds. If you happen to be reading this, not that you care, but it just isn't on to disturb birds in cold weather like this. They need to conserve all the energy that they can, and to have a dog needlessly scatter them all into the air when you could have prevented that is a disgrace. 

Other than the Lapwing it was quite quiet, as it has been all week really. Decent numbers of Reed Bunting - I saw 4, James had 5 in a different area, I wonder how many we have. Linnets around Jubilee and loads and loads of Common Gulls including one of the Norwegian ones.

My new muse

4 January 2017

Dismembered December

December not really as bad as it could have been and that's almost entirely down to the Yellow-browed Warbler that appeared in the willows on the south west corner of Alex on the 7th and behaved impeccably until the new year, by which time it had inspected every remaining leaf at least twice and then hid itself in the evergreens. Now of course it is a complete bastard, not calling and showing briefly if at all.  It took me near enough 10 hours to see it briefly, moving between the islands, and much questioning of my sanity.

Just the 77 species for the month, but that means we managed an average of just over 82 species per month for the year, which sounds better than it probably was as 5 months failed to reach 80.  Golden Plover, Lapwing, Ringed Plover were noted making it the best month for plovers this year! The Little Owl is still with us and reports of its demise premature, no one could be bothered to stay out late for Tawny Owl or Woodcock which are probably present so the month could have been marginally better.

Duck numbers struggled back after November's freeze, and fell away again when the ponds froze again in December, though 3 Red-crested Pochard were noted on the Hollow Ponds on the 20th, but the cold weather did bring in a few good days of Redwing and Fieldfare.

We do have a wintering Stonechat again by Cat & Dog, which may be last year's bird, but that would require me looking at old posts to check.  It has been joined by Meadow Pipits and a few Reed Bunting–which may not be surprising as it is the quietest part of the patch elsewhere overrun by dogs!  Skylarks haven't sussed this yet, and are increasingly hard to find down by Alex.

Little Egret numbers are building up again on Heronry, though way down on last year, with a high of 7 counted, whereas all the Little Grebe have moved off the lakes on to the Roding.  And that was December, so just about 80 days until the Wheatear get here...


Wanstead Flats: 6 Gadwall, 10 Shoveler, Teal, Tufted Duck, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft/Peter Brinton)

Wanstead Park: Water Rail, 86 Gadwall, 2 Teal, Wigeon, 13 Wigeon, 14 Tufted Duck, 18 Redwing (Nick Croft/Peter Brinton)


Wanstead Flats: Golden Plover (Tony Brown); Little Owl, Common Buzzard, m Sparrowhawk, 2 Linnet, Meadow Pipit, 7 Shoveler, 5 Teal, 2 Pochard, 6 Tufted Duck, Goldcrest (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: Common Snipe (Tony Brown); Firecrest, 12 Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Common Buzzard, Kestrel, f Sparrowhawk, 130+ Gadwall, 3 Wigeon, 9 Shoveler, 14 Tufted Duck, 2 Pochard, 7 Redwing (Nick Croft); Water Rail on Heronry Pond (Frank Nugent)


Wanstead Flats: Little Owl, 5 Shoveler, Gadwall, Kestrel (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 65 Gadwall, 3 Wigeon, 5 Teal, 6 Shoveler going east, Pochard, 2 Little Grebe, Kingfisher, Great Black-backed Gull, 12 Mistle Thrush, 30+ Goldfinch, 10+ Goldcrest (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: 8 Lapwing (Rob Sheldon), 12 Shoveler, 6 Gadwall, 7 Teal, 3 Pochard, 2 Kestrel, 2 Meadow Pipit, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Redwing, 8  Mistle Thrush, 550+ Common Gull, 150+ Black-headed Gull, 60+ House Sparrow (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Yellow-browed Warbler on south side of Alex in willows calling and showing well, 2 Goldcrest, 34 Fieldfare, 2 Redwing, 7 Linnet, 30+ Goldfinch, 2 Reed Bunting, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, 3 Pied Wagtail, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 2 Pochard, 3 Tufted Duck, 8 Gadwall, 8 Teal, 13 Shoveler (Nick Croft/Bob Vaugan)

Wanstead Park: 20 Fieldfare, 4 Redwing, singing Song Thrush, singing Mistle Thrush, 12 Goldcrest, Little Egret, Sparrowhawk, 2 Little Grebe, 27 Shoveler, 58 Gadwall, 6 Teal, Pochard, 16 Tufted Duck, 300+ Black-headed Gull (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Yellow-browed Warbler again in willows on south side of Alex until about 8:30 when it joined a roving mixed tit flock (Jono Lethbridge/Peter Brinton/Nick Croft) - excellent find Nick (JR); 220+ Redwing, 70+ Fieldfare, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Kestrel, 8 Gadwall, 6 Teal, 9 Shoveler, 16 Tufted Duck, 2 Pochard, Meadow Pipit (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 3 Little Egret, 2 Little Grebe, 92 Gadwall, 39 Shoveler, 3 Wigeon, 13 Teal, 22 Tufted Duck, 2 Pochard, 16 Redwing, singing Mistle Thrush, 10+ Goldcrest (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Yellow-browed Warbler on south side of Alexandra Lake in overhanging Willows but mobile and only occasionally calling (Tony Brown)


Wanstead Flats: Yellow-browed Warbler still on island at Alexandra Lake, c10.30. 3 Goldcrest, m Blackcap, 63 Fieldfare, singing Mistle Thrush, Reed Bunting, Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, 12 Gadwall, 16 Teal, 12 Shoveler, 9 Tufted Duck, Great Black-backed Gull (Stuart Fisher/Nick Croft et al) recording here

Wanstead Park: 150 Gadwall, 2 Wigeon, 23 Teal, 28 Shoveler, Pochard, 14 Tufted Duck, 3 Little Egret, Great Crested Grebe, 4 Little Grebe on Roding, 2 Coal Tit, 4 Goldcrest, Sparrowhawk, Redwing (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Yellow-browed Warbler still SW corner of Alex in willows but (understandably) elusive, 1w m Stonechat, 25 Fieldfare, 10 Redwing, singing Mistle Thrush, Stock Dove, Goldcrest, 3-5 Linnet, 20+ Goldfinch, Reed Bunting, 12 Gadwall, 21 Shoveler, 13 Teal, 10 Pochard, 17 Tufted Duck, 4 Meadow Pipit, 3 Kestrel (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Yellow-browed Warbler still sw corner of Alex, Goldcrest, 24+ Goldfinch, 8 Gadwall, 5 Teal, 7 Shoveler, 2 Pochard, 2 Tufted Duck, singing Song Thrush, 2 Mistle Thrush, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Yellow-browed Warbler still favouring the SW corner of Alex, 6 Goldcrest, 15 Fieldfare, 2 Redwing (many more calling overhead as I returned home after dark), singing Song Thrush and 2 singing Mistle Thrush, 2 Reed Bunting, 12 Gadwall, 11 Teal, 10 Shoveler, 5 Tufted Duck, 3 Pochard, Meadow Pipit, Kestrel (Nick Croft et al)

Wanstead Park: 2 Chiffchaff, 8 Goldcrest, Coal Tit, 2 Grey Wagtail, Kingfisher, 5 Little Egret, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, 108 Gadwall, 6 Wigeon, 24 Teal, 42 Shoveler, 15 Tufted Duck, 3 Pochard, 4 Mistle Thrush (one singing), singing Song Thrush, 6 Redwing, Fieldfare, 2 Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Yellow-browed Warbler, Goldcrest, 102 Fieldfare, 36 Redwing, Stonechat, 12 Linnet, 10 Meadow Pipit, 18 Tufted Duck, 4 Pochard, 5 Teal, 20 Shoveler, 18 Gadwall, Kestrel (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 7 Little Egret, 28 Gadwall, 2 Teal, 17 Tufted Duck, 4 Pochard, 11+ Song Thrush, 14 Redwing, Fieldfare, 2 Siskin, 30+ Goldfinch, Chiffchaff, 5 Goldcrest, Grey Wagtail, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: RBA report Yellow-browed Warbler still on south side of Alex, Ringed Plover heard over SSSI (other records appear to have been deleted from the London Bird Club page, again!


Wanstead Flats: Yellow-browed Warbler showing well on south side of lake at 0830 (John and Janet Cadera)

Wanstead Park: Water Rail, 8 Gadwall (Bob Vaughan); Treecreeper, 2 Nuthatch, Kingfisher, 6 Little Egret (Tony Brown)


Wanstead Flats: Yellow-browed Warbler still s side Alex, 2 Goldcrest, Peregrine Falcon, 2 Kestrel, 50 Fieldfare, 23 Redwing, 2 singing Song Thrush, 3 Linnet, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Meadow Pipit, Skylark, WeBS - 665 Common Gull, 144 Black-headed Gull, 103 Mallard, 22 Shoveler, 7 Teal, 9 Gadwall, 18 Tufted Duck, 7 Pochard, 46 Moorhen, 67 Coot (Nick Croft et al)

Wanstead Park: Basin WeBS - 75 Black-headed Gull, 3 Wigeon, Gadwall, Little Grebe, 2 Little Egret, 18 Redwing (Bush Wood), 25 Fieldfare, 12 Gadwall, Pochard (James Heal/Bob Vaughan/Jono Lethbridge)


Leyton Flats /Hollow and Eagle Ponds:
c15 Redwing, 12 Gadwall, 5 Pochard, 2 Shoveler, 2 Goldcrest, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Greenfinch (Simon Worsfold)


Wanstead Flats: Yellow-browed Warbler
still on sw corner of western island on Alex, 2 Goldcrest, 9 Gadwall, 7 Teal, 6 Shoveler, Pochard, Reed Bunting, 2 Kestrel, m Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft/James Palmer/Peter Brinton)

Wanstead Park: 2 Kingfisher, 120 Gadwall, 2 Wigeon, 8 Teal, 32 Shoveler, Pochard, 18 Tufted Duck, 6 Little Egret, Coal Tit, 3 Goldcrest, Grey Wagtail, Kestrel, 2 Redwing (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Yellow-browed Warbler
still on Alex but took 2 hours to track down, 2 Goldcrest, 8 Linnet, 3 Reed Bunting, 6 Skylark 5 east & 1 remaining resident bird, 4 Gadwall, 1 Teal, 18 Shoveler, 6 Pochard, 12 Tufted Duck, 2 Mistle Thrush, 12 Fieldfare, 6 Redwing, Great Black-backed Gull, 500+ Common Gull, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Yellow-browed Warbler
at 11.30 on Alex, looking good in the sun. Thanks for the pointers (Jon Agar); 7 Redwing, Fieldfare, Reed Bunting, 8 Gadwall, Teal, 5 Shoveler, Goldcrest (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 105 Gadwall, 34 Shoveler, 7 Teal, 3 Pochard, 14 Tufted Duck, 3 Little Egret, 6 Little Grebe on Roding, Great Crested Grebe, Nuthatch, 8 Goldcrest, 2 Grey Wagtail (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Yellow-browed Warbler
still on SW corner of Alex, 8 Redwing, 100+ Jackdaw (Nick Croft); Stonechat, Reed Bunting, Fieldfare (Bob Vaughan)


Wanstead Flats: Yellow-browed Warbler
, 8 Meadow Pipit (Tony Brown et al)


Wanstead Flats: Yellow-browed Warbler
still sw corner of Alex, 2 Goldcrest, Teal, 6 Gadwall, Shoveler, 8 Fieldfare, Kestrel (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 69 Gadwall, 11 Teal, 4 Shoveler, 3 Pochard, 13 Tufted Duck, 5 Little Egret, Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Grebe, 5 Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, 4 Redwing, Kestrel (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Yellow-browed Warbler
, 2 Goldcrest, Stonechat, 8 Meadow Pipit, 6 Skylark, Reed Bunting, Sparrowhawk (James Heal/Bob Vaughan)


Wanstead Flats: Yellow-browed Warbler
thanks Nick. (G. Gram); 8 Reed Bunting, 4 Linnet, 2 Mistle Thrush, 6 Redwing, 2 Goldcrest, 31 Shoveler, 2 Pochard, 13 Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, 2 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 1w Great Black-backed Gull (Tony Brown/Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 90 Gadwall, Wigeon, 19 Shoveler, Teal, 13 Tufted Duck, 2 Pochard, 3 Little Grebe, Little Egret, Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, 3 Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Yellow-browed Warbler
still on Alex showing well when seen, 2 Goldcrest, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 12 Linnet, Reed Bunting, c30 Fieldfare, Redwing, 3 Mistle Thrush, 2 Gadwall, 25 Shoveler, f Teal, 9 Tufted Duck, 8 Pochard, Stonechat (Nick Croft/Paul Davies/Marco Johnson/Tony Brown et al)


Wanstead Flats: Yellow-browed Warbler
still sw corner of Alex in willows, Goldcrest, 7 Reed Bunting, 4 Meadow Pipit, Redwing, Fieldfare, Kestrel, 5 Gadwall, 17 Shoveler, 3 Teal, 2 Pochard, 6 Tufted Duck, 50+ House Sparrow (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: 35 Gadwall, 7 Shoveler, 3 Teal, 12 Tufted Duck, 2 Pochard, 3 Goldcrest, Grey Wagtail, Great Crested Grebe, 6 Redwing (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Yellow-browed Warbler
showed late afternoon between the islands on Alex, 7 Teal, 6 Shoveler (Nick Croft et al)