1 May 2017

April: of singers, ringers and sandpipers

April really only started on the 10th, before that it was really March and a bit tiresome, but it all turned around nicely with 22 new species to our greedy but starving list.  So some semblance of respectability after a dour start to our year.  Some good birds too...

  • Swallow (Apr-1)
  • Lesser Whitethroat (Apr-10)
  • Common Whitethroat (Apr-10)
  • Common Redstart (Apr-10): Just one male and one female and a poor return on spring movement compared with last year's bonanza.  Clear skies and fine weather meant none were forced down.
  • Little Ringed Plover (Apr-10): 3 on the Heronry on April 10th–the first record for the park, one on the Alex on the 22nd and finally a report of one flushed from the brooms between the dates here
  • House Martin (Apr-13): Just 3 sightings with 2 coming from over the colony and the other from a single bird over Heronry
  • Sand Martin (Apr-13): a flock of 8 birds over Alex on the 23rd, but a slow month for hirundine movement
  • Common Snipe (Apr-14): The first records this year–2 in the brooms on the 14th and a single bird between the copses a week later
  • Cetti's Warbler (Apr-14): Could this bird be last year's bird, and why is it so quiet?
  • Ring Ouzel (Apr-15): 2 records of single birds, par for the course really, sadly!
  • Reed Warbler (Apr-17): A single singer on the Shoulder of Mutton and early, so early the reeds haven't quite grown.  A second bird on Alex a week later
  • Yellow Wagtail (Apr-17): Poor passage this year, though with the change of weather birds may be stuck on the other side of the channel
  • White Wagtail (Apr-17): The European sub-species of our more familiar pieds, a regular annual spring bird
  • Green Sandpiper (Apr-22): 2 birds for Tony flying over the Alex 
  • Hobby (Apr-22): 3 sightings and probably not our local birds 
  • Tree Pipit (Apr-22): 3 birds this month, which is better than usual for this more often seen in the autumn pipit
  • Nightingale (Apr-22): The first spring singer since one sang briefly near the Plain in the Park on April 25th 2010.  According to a frequent visitor the bird may have been present on the 20th.  Mike Messenger had a singing bird on the island on Hollow Ponds on the 24th, which could have been our bird.

My first attempt at bird song–the hassle I had trying to boost the volume, remove a section where I am groaning like some seedy pervert...
  • Woodlark (Apr-23): Another first for spring, usually an autumn migrant an early morning Marco scores patch gold
  • Garden Warbler (Apr-23): One on passage singing at the west end of Long Wood and gone the next day.  Meanwhile we wait for the Motorcycle Wood bird
  • Common Sandpiper (Apr-24): A friendly bird which took a liking to the margins of the Alex
  • Sedge Warbler (Apr-27): Bob's early morning ramble pays off 

  • Whinchat (Apr-30): A sparkling pair in the brooms (at last!) One apparently seen by a visiting birder on the 24th–so htf did we miss that then Bob?
  • Swift (Apr-30): Another tardy migrant

Not only, but also

32 Wheatear with a maximum of 7 on the 30th, and mainly males so more (females) to come I reckon.  The last Redwing and Fieldfare, on the 3rd and 4th  respectively, saw the change from  winter visitors to spring and summer migrants and the weather reflected that change–warmth!

Shovelers left us by the middle of the month, and most of the Teal except for a pair on the Roding–breeders, I should cocoa! 

Then it got cold again, which kind of put things in stasis, which in turn could mean we have a few more days of migration to look forward to.

As an added bonus dear reader, an image, nay the first image of one of our local Tawny Owl courtesy of Bob V


Wanstead Flats: 28 Meadow Pipits
(most of these passing through north), 3 Skylark, 2 Swallow, 6 m Blackcap, 10 m Chiffchaff, 6 displaying Greenfinch, Linnet, Reed Bunting, 25 Shoveler, 8 Gadwall, 7 Black-headed Gull south, Kestrel (Nick Croft/Rob Sheldon)

Wanstead Park: 5 Little Grebe, pr of Great Crested Grebe, 20 Shoveler, 8 Teal, 2 Pochard, Common Buzzard, 10+ m Blackcap, 8+ m Chiffchaff, singing Goldcrest, 2 Meadow Pipit north, Common Gull north (Nick Croft/James Heal)


Wanstead Flats: Willow Warbler
in SSSI (Marco Johnson)


Wanstead Flats:
The fog yielded nothing here. 6 Meadow Pipit, possibly 8 Skylark territories though not confirmed, 2 Redwing south, 2 Reed Bunting, Linnet, 2 Sparrowhawk, 8 Gadwall, 10 Shoveler, 15 Tufted Duck, 3 Pochard, 4 Little Grebe (Wanstead Birders)


Wanstead Flats:
2 Willow Warbler, Fieldfare, 5 Meadow Pipit, 3 singing Skylark, Linnet, Sparrowhawk, 3 Pochard, 6 Gadwall (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)


Wanstead Flats:
4 Sparrowhawk, 1 Common Buzzard over 4 times, 7 Meadow Pipit, 2 Grey Wagtail, 3 Willow Warbler, 5 Skylark, 2 Shoveler, 4 Gadwall, 3 + Linnet (1 singing) (Nick Croft/Marco Johnson)

Wanstead Park: Willow Warbler, Kestrel (Nick Croft/Marco Johnson)


Wanstead Flats:
5 Meadow Pipit (including one carrying nesting material), Skylark, Willow Warbler, 2 Sparrowhawk, 17 Shoveler, Pochard (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park: Common Buzzard (Tim Harris)


Wanstead Flats:
Kestrel, 2 Meadow Pipit, Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, Skylark, 3 Linnet, 2 Gadwall, Little Grebe 1-2pm (Simon Worsfold) Common Redstart, Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Swallow, 3 Pochard, Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, singing Reed Bunting, Grey Wagtail (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: 3 Little Ringed Plover on Heronry mud (still there at 18:00) and a park first, Common Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warbler, Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, 2 Teal, 2 Gadwall, pr of Great Crested Grebe (Wanstead Birders)


Wanstead Flats: Red Kite,
pr of Peregrine Falcon, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 3 Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Reed Bunting, pr of Linnet, 3 Gadwall (Wanstead Birders)


Wanstead Flats: 2 Sand Martin
, House Martin, 4 Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, 4 Linnet, 4 Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylark, Wheatear, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel (Nick Croft/Marco Johnson/Bob Vaughan)

Wanstead Park: 3 Willow Warbler, Whitethroat,2 Linnet, Little Egret (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats:  2 Common Snipe
, Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Willow Warbler, 3 Linnet, 30+ Meadow Pipit through north, 3 Grey Wagtail south, Peregrine Falcon, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 10 Swallow west (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: Cetti's Warbler briefly by Roding (James Heal), 2 Common Whitethroat, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Little Egret, Coal Tit, Grey Wagtail,  Little Grebe (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Ring Ouzel
(Tony Brown), 2 Wheatear (Rob Sheldon), 4 Willow Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: Cetti's Warbler still by Roding (Bob Vaughan/Tony Brown/Tim Harris)


Wanstead Flats: Sand Martin
, 2 Swallow, 3 Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, 2 Teal, Pochard (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park:  Cetti’s Warbler, 4 Willow Warbler, 2 Whithethroat, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Little Egret (Wanstead Birders)


Wanstead Flats: 2 Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail
, 3 Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Swallow, 4 Meadow Pipit, 5 Skylark, Sparrowhawk, 2 Gadwall, 2 Pochard (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: Cetti's Warbler, Reed Warbler (Wanstead Birders)


Wanstead Flats: Wheatear,
4 Willow Warbler, 5 Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Swallow, 10 Meadow Pipit,4 Skylark, 4 Gadwall, Kestrel (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: Cetti's Warbler still by Roding, Reed Warbler, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Whitethroat,  Little Egret, 5 Stock Dove, Little Grebe (Wanstead Birders)


Wanstead Flats:
3 Willow Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Whitethroat, Wheatear, 3 Swallow, Reed Bunting, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 3 Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylark (Nick Croft/Bob Vaughan)


Wanstead Flats: Ring Ouzel, f Redstart, 2 Wheatear,
10 Meadow Pipit, 4 Skylark, 2 Gadwall, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Swallow (Nick Croft/Simon Worsfold)


Wanstead Flats: 2 Green Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover
(both flying over Alex) (Tony Brown) Nightingale singing in Motorcycle Copse (at least till 17:20 and the first singing bird since 2009), 2 Tree Pipit, 10 Meadow Pipit, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Wheatear, 16 Sand Martin, 10+ Swallow, 4 Willow Warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 7 + Whitethroat, Hobby, 4 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, Buzzard, 4 Gadwall, 4 Little Grebe, Common Gull, 5 Skylark, 2 Linnet, Little Egret (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: Cetti's Warbler (possibly 2 singing birds), Reed Warbler, 4 Whitethroat, 4 Little Egret, pr of Great Crested Grebe, Gadwall (James Heal/Bob Vaughan)


Wanstead Flats: Woodlark,
6 Skylark, Garden Warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 7 Whitethroat, 3 Willow Warbler, 5 Wheatear, Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, 3 pairs of Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Hobby, Peregrine Falcon, 3 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, 10 Swallow, 6 Sand Martin, Linnet, 4 Gadwall (Wanstead Birders)


Wanstead Flats: Common Sandpiper, Wheatear,
2 Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, 7 Whitethroat, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Skylark, 4 Swallow, Sparrowhawk, 6 Gadwall (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: Cetti's Warbler still (Simon Raper)


Wanstead Flats: Common Sandpiper,
Willow Warbler, 11 Whitethroat, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, Swallow, House Martin, Grey Wagtail, 3 Meadow Pipit, 3 Skylark, Kestrel, 2 Gadwall, 4 Little Grebe, Linnet (Bob Vaughan/Nick Croft); Hobby, m Wheatear, Red Kite, Common Sandpiper still on Alex at 18:40 (Tony Brown)

Wanstead Park: Reed Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Whitethroat, 3 Reed Bunting, 2 singing Stock Dove, Little Egret (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Common Sandpiper
still on Alex, m Wheatear, 5 Skylark, 3 Meadow Pipit, Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Swallow, Common Gull, 4 Gadwall, 4 Little Grebe (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: Peregrine (Sean Kerrigan), 2 Stock Dove, Lesser Whitethroat, Cetti's Warbler, Swallow, 2 Teal, 3 Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Coal Tit, 4 Whitethroat (Nick Croft)


Wanstead Flats: Common Sandpiper still on Alex, Sedge Warbler
(Jub), 2 Willow Warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 10 Whitethroat, 8 Swallow, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 2 Grey Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, 2 Wheatear, Skylark, 3 Linnet (Wanstead Birders)


Wanstead Flats: 5 Wheatear, Sedge Warbler, Common Sandpiper
still on Alex, Yellow Wagtail (Wanstead Birders)

Wanstead Park: Willow Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, Sparrowhawk (Wanstead Birders)


Wanstead Flats: 2 Whinchat, 7 Wheatear, 2 Rook, Swift, Sand Martin,
7 Swallow, 2 Willow Warbler, 5 Yellow Wagtail, 3 pairs of Meadow Pipit, 4 Skylark (Wanstead Birders)