Friday, September 29, 2006

29th September 2006

Stoke Newington Reservoirs 0730-1130hrs MJP
o/c, showers, brighter spells. light S, gusting mod.

Rook - 2 east
Jackdaw - 8 west
Lesser Redpoll - 3 west
Meadow Pipit - 13 mainly sw
Siskin - 1
Barn Swallow - 11 sw
Sand Martin - 3 s
House Martin - 2 s
Chiffchaff - 2
Blackcap - 1
Sparrowhawk - 3-4
Wigeon - 1
Carrion Crow - 40+
Greenfinch - 50+

a good morning for visible migration, especially corvids - two Rooks flying west are the first of the year of this locally very rare bird, with eight Jackdaws soon after and good numbers of Carrion Crows. Other migrants evident, with hirundines and finches both moving.

The day was however overshadowed by the discovery of dead and dying swans, of the same family group on the New River west. The birds were victims of human cruelty and if anyone has any information, please leave a message here. Warm thanks to Clare, the fantastic RSPCA Inspector.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

28th Sep (additional)

Walthamstow Marshes 1130-1300 MJP

Yellow Wagtail - 4
Meadow Pipit - 2

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

26th September 2006

SN Reservoirs 0700-1115hrs MJP
dull early, bright with sunny breaks after 0830. light, variable wind.

Jackdaw - 6 (w)
Egyptian Goose - 2
Yellow Wagtail - 1 (sw)
Meadow Pipit - 55 (mainly sw)
Lesser Redpoll - 2
Siskin - 2 (e)
House Martin - 7 (n)
Sedge Warbler - 2
Reed Warbler - 3+
Wigeon - 5
Sparrowhawk - 2
Chiffchaff - 6
Blackcap - 1
Shoveler - 32
Tufted Duck - 63
Woodpigeon - 200
Carrion Crow - 35
Mistle Thrush - 14

visible migration good, with several locally uncommon species moving through, including the first Jackdaws of the autumn (west), two more Siskins (east), another Yellow Wagtail (west), and two Lesser Redpolls, which briefly alighted in treetops by the ER. 55 more Meadow Pipits continue an unprecedented passage this month; most were flying south-west, again in singles and small groups (although no flocks of more than seven today) - several briefly put down, surprisingly, in phragmites as well as on short grass.

Wildfowl numbers are high, with 32 Shovelers and 63 Tufted Ducks on the ER; a third visit from the Egyptian Geese (apparently the same pair which often reside in Regent's Park) ended at 0700 when they flew south-east. Initially only three Wigeon were on the ER, perhaps reflecting the receding weed, but two more (males) came in high from the north-east around 0720.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

23rd September 2006

SN Reservoirs 0700-1145hrs MJP
misty & dull early, warm & sunny later. light SE.

Meadow Pipit - 73
Yellow Wagtail - 1
Sedge Warbler - 3
Reed Warbler - 7
Willow Warbler - 1
Chiffchaff - 8
Blackcap - 3
Pied Wagtail - 10
Grey Wagtail - 4
Barn Swallow - 16
House Martin - 5
Kingfisher - 2
Wigeon - 6
Little Grebe - 8

Thick mist for the first hour on patch, after which the skies slowly cleared and warm sunshine broke through from around 0845. Visible migration very impressive, although confined to a handful of species.

Meadow Pipits began moving from around 0830, in singles, small groups and larger parties (several of more than 15), and continued until around 1130; almost all flew south-west, and several singles alighted on the short grass by the ER. This is by far the largest number ever recorded in the area.

Other flyovers included another Yellow Wagtail south, four Grey Wagtails high and south-west, ten Pied Wagtails, good numbers of Greenfinch and Chaffinch, and two sp. of hirundine. Warbler passage continues to ebb and flow, with five species present, and at least three Sedge being the highlight.

Also: 2 Painted Lady, 4/5 Red Admiral and 8+ Speckled Wood.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

21st September 2006

SN Reservoirs 1415-1815hrs MJP
sunny, hot, clear. mod SW, gusting strong.

Wigeon - 13
Little Grebe - 18
Barn Swallow - 3
Meadow Pipit - 1
Chiffchaff - 2
Reed Warbler - 1
Kingfisher - 3
Black-headed Gull - 55
Herring Gull - 2
LBB Gull - 8
Cormorant - 40+
Grey Heron - 9
Kestrel - 2
Woodpigeon - c100
Greenfinch - 50+
Reed Bunting - 2
Long-tailed Tit - 22
Budgerigar - 1 (blue)!

Four hours on patch on a hot, sunny afternoon. Very little to speak of regarding visible migration or passerines (in contrast to recent days); almost nothing moving overhead but for Starlings and Woodpigeons, but time of day obviously a very influential factor.

Numbers of birds on the ER are good, with 18 Little Grebes and 13 Wigeon both being record counts for the area. Three Kingfishers are still present, at one point, all chasing each other around the reservoir perimeter, and the Long-tailed Tit flock has swelled to at least 22. Little Grebes, Ruddy Ducks and Coot all have young broods.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

19th September 2006

SN Reservoirs 0645-1200hrs MJP
cloudy and cool early, sunny and mainly clear later. mod WNW.


Skylark - 2
Tree Pipit - 1
Yellow Wagtail - 1
Linnet - 3
Siskin - 7
Meadow Pipit - 14
House Martin - 65
Barn Swallow - 19
Sand Martin - 2
Woodpigeon - 230
Greenfinch - 60+
Starling - 130

Another productive and entertaining morning, mainly on account of visible migration. Most activity took place between 0700 and 0900, as on previous days, with a broad range of species moving (possibly held up last night by rain in the early hours).
The commonest species involved were Woodpigeon, Starling and Greenfinch, and highlights included the first Skylarks of the autumn, the second Yellow Wagtail and the third Tree Pipit for the year, three Linnets and a good count of Meadow Pipits.
All three hirundines moved through, with a strong passage of House Martins for the first time in several weeks.

other migrants:

Chiffchaff - 6
Lesser Whitethroat - 2
Reed Warbler - 7
Blackbird - 25

The pair of Egyptian Geese (which originally made an appearance several days ago) have returned, commuting between both reservoirs and loosely associating with Canada Geese, the latter species having increased greatly in number recently with the WR now a regular roost. Three Kingfishers at the ER simultaneously is in itself perhaps not unusual, but actually watching three simultaneously certainly is....
Two Lesser Whitethroats were feeding on berries along the New River East footpath (with a tit flock), and the second Common Gull of the autumn was present briefly on the gull pipes.

wildfowl, etc

Wigeon - 8
Little Grebe - 10
Egyptian Goose - 2
Red-crested Pochard - 2
Great Crested Grebe - 3
Canada Goose - 49
Common Gull - 1, 2nd W.
Black-headed Gull - 30
Kingfisher - 3

Sunday, September 17, 2006

17th September 2006

SN Reservoirs 0630-0930hrs MJP
misty and dull early, sunny later; mild. light NW.

Peregrine - 1 (east, 0815)
Tree Pipit - 1 (north, 0745)
Meadow Pipit - 16
Siskin - 8
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Sedge Warbler - 1
Reed Warbler - 9
Willow Warbler - 1-2
Chiffchaff - 5
Grey Wagtail - 3
Sparrowhawk - 2-3
Kestrel - 1
Wigeon - 7
Red-crested Pochard - 2
Canada Goose - 23
Reed Bunting - 1
Mistle Thrush - 15
Blackbird - 45
Kingfisher - 2
Goldcrest - 2

visible migration again productive; the first day of the autumn to feature mixed finch flocks overhead, with Greenfinch and Chaffinch dominating, and 8 Siskin (one over, seven alighting in treetops with Greenfinch) the highlight. A number of flocks passed high overhead when blue skies broke through, unfortunately too high to i.d. on calls or sight.

The first Peregrine of the autumn, pursued by a Carrion Crow and heading east, was probably a young male. Pipits continue to pass through, with a total of 16 Meadow Pipits (in ones, twos and threes) and a single Tree Pipit; two of the three Grey Wags flew high overhead, suggesting migrants rather the 'resident' few.

Warblers, while not abundant, provided good variety - a Lesser Whitethroat in scrub at the ER and still-lingering Sedge being the pick. Blackbirds were numerous in the berry scrub at dawn, most having moved on by 7a.m. The group of Wigeon, present now for several days, numbered six, but were joined by a male coming in high from the NE, illustrating the 'crossover' of migrant wildfowl on site. A Reed Bunting at the ER is surprisingly the first for many weeks.

Friday, September 15, 2006

15th September 2006

SN Reservoirs 0630-0915hrs MJP,LP
o/c, showers. light-mod NE.

Hobby - 1 adult, chasing hirundines, then heading N 0745
Common Snipe - 2 N, 0900
Tree Pipit - 1 N, 0730
Meadow Pipit - 3 singles over
Sand Martin - 1
Swallow - 10
Sedge Warbler - 1 (singing at dawn)
Reed Warbler - 8 (one singing)
Willow Warbler - 1
Chiffchaff - 12 (several singing)
Red-crested Pochard - 2
Wigeon - 9
Canada Goose - 49
Kingfisher - 2
Song Thrush - 15
Blackbird - 20
Mistle Thrush - 10
Robin - c15
Black-headed Gull - 25
Herring Gull - 1
LBB Gull - 4

another entertaining early morning on patch, the highlight being an adult Hobby - which came in from the east, terrorised a small group of hirundines, performed beautifully over the East Res and then departed to the north. Visible migration continues to provide, with a single Tree Pipit (the first of the year), three Meadow Pipits, two Snipe (the first for the autumn), ten Swallows and a Sand Martin all overhead.

Thrushes and Robins maintain a comparatively numerous migratory presence, and warblers are still moving through; they're also (surprisingly) singing regularly, with Sedge, Reed and chiffys all in song today (as well as Willow and Garden in the last few days).

Wildfowl numbers - especially Gadwall, Common Pochard, Shoveler and Tufted Duck - are high, and the extensive weed present on the East Res is a hit with Wigeon, nine of which are now present. The pair of Red-crested Pochards (an imm. male and a female)and two Kingfishers were also frequenting the ER; over on the WR, 49 Canada geese roosted and left at dawn (sadly bereft of any african brethren).

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

13th September 2006

SN Reservoirs 1030-1200hrs MJP,TB
humid, changeable. mod SW.

Egyptian Goose - 2
Garden Warbler - 1
Wigeon - 8
Chiffchaff - 6
Sand Martin - 2

Aren't they glorious? Direct from Lake Nasser, obviously, two Egyptian Geese appeared at the Reservoirs this morning. Rather shy (thus strengthening their vagrant credentials), they commuted between the two reservoirs and could be seen easily from the New River path.

A Garden Warbler in full song in the thickets on the southern fringe of the East Res. was another nice surprise, and there are now eight Wigeon (also on the East).

(Thanks to Gary and Tony for the tip-off.)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

12th September 2006

SN Reservoirs 0645-1110hrs MJP,LP
heavy showers early, then o/c and bright; v humid. wind v light, variable.

Wigeon - 7
Spotted Flycatcher - 3-4
Sedge Warbler - 2
Reed Warbler - 12
Chiffchaff - 16
Willow Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 1
Swallow - 11
Song Thrush - 25
Blackbird - 30
Robin - 16
Little Grebe - 11

hopes raised by overnight rain (and on patch in time for a heavy downpour), and although nothing overwhelming around, the autumn's first Wigeon were welcome, and passerine migrants had increased in numbers. At least three, possibly four, Spot Flys (all presumably new birds after several blank days at the reservoirs) continues the species' unprecedented run in the area this year.

(six of seven wigeon, East Res)

Song Thrushes, Robins and Blackbirds were present in good numbers, and eleven swallows were, suprisingly, the first hirundines (but for a lone Sand Martin on the 8th) in almost a week. Reed Warblers are presently almost everywhere around the fringe of the East Res., and at least sixteen Chiffchaffs, two Sedge Warblers, and single Willow Warbler and Blackcap made for a respectable warbler presence.

Monday, September 11, 2006

11th September 2006

SN Reservoirs 0645-0900hrs MJP,LP
warm, clear, sunny. light S.

Hobby - 1 juv.
Yellow Wagtail - 1
Sedge Warbler - 1
Reed Warbler - 10
Willow Warbler - 1
Chiffchaff - 8
Blackcap - 1
Long-tailed Tit - 30+
Jay - 6+
Little Grebe - 11
Black-headed Gull - 25
Herring Gull - 2
Kingfisher - 1
Grey Wagtail - 2
Pied Wagtail - 2
Goldcrest - 4

productive and enjoyable early morning session in beautiful conditions. Yellow Wagtail over, calling and continuing south at 0725, and a cracking juvenile Hobby low overhead (and heading southeast) at 0845. Also a nice selection of warblers, with a notably late Sedge battling with chiffys in the reeds.

Wildfowl numbers remain high, although aside from the six common duck species (and the Red-crested Pochards), the autumn has yet to provide much variety.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

10th September 2006

Clissold Park 1300-1830hrs MJP,GJ
warm, clear, sunny. light SE.

Spotted Flycatcher - 2
Chiffchaff - 3
Sparrowhawk - 2

Unproductive sky-watching session in the park (although hardly a chore under indian summer skies), with no overhead records to speak of; however, two more spot flys continues an excellent autumnal run.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

9th September 2006

SN Reservoirs 0930-1430hrs MJP,LP
Light SE, mild, sunny. some high cloud p.m.

(an accomadating Migrant Hawker, East Res., 9th Sep 2006)

Unremarkable after yesterday's shot in the arm, with few notable sightings (despite having eyes on the skies for several hours). Wildfowl numbers are still high, with Shovelers reaching an autumn peak of 36, and all other common ducks very well represented; the two Red-crested Pochards remain, with the immature male moulting into less conservative dress. 14 Little Grebes is perhaps the highest day count for a number of years; 60+ Cormorants (mainly heading west) is also a high day count.

Raptors were confined to Sparrowhawks (2) and Kestrels (2), and few passerine migrants were recorded.

Reed Warbler - 3
Chiffchaff - 4
Willow Warbler - 1
Kingfisher - 1
Jay - 5
Goldcrest - 2
Grey Wagtail - 2
Pied Wagtail - 2
Herring Gull - 2
LBB Gull - 6
Black-headed Gull - 12

Also: 4 Red Admirals, 6 Speckled Woods.

Friday, September 08, 2006

8th September 2006

Stoke Newington Reservoirs and Clissold Park 0630-0930hrs
Light SE winds, cool & clear.

The first cool night-morning of the autumn so far, and hopes of something interesting were high.
Generally warbler numbers have increased, with the bias switching from Willow Warblers to Chiffchaffs, of which some of each species were in song.
Blackcaps were also more evident. Suprisingly hirundines were represented by a single Sand Martin which quickly headed south.
The first Common Gull, an adult, was present upon the 'gull pipes'.
But, our high hopes were not redeemed until an immature Black tailed Godwit came in low from the west! The bird circled low over the east reservoir, several times, almost wetting its feet. But due to ever high water levels there was no suitable areas for it to set down. It then continued south. The joy of this occurence was great and the record itself wholly unexpected. The reservoirs are almost always filled to brimming, only the exposed concrete margins of the west reservoir provide some attraction to Green and Common Sandpipers. This, and the reservoirs small size, seem to be the main reason interesting wader records are confined to the periods when they are semi drained... Which is not very often.

Laurence Pitcher and Mark Pearson.

full counts:

Clissold Park 0630-0740 (MJP,LP), & 1230-1545 (MJP)

Northern Wheatear - 1 west (at tree height), 1340
Linnet - 1 south west, 1250
Chiffchaff - 4 (a.m.)
Sparrowhawk - 1
Kestrel - 2
Long-tailed Tit - 15
Woodpigeon - 160 (a.m)
Goldfinch - c25

Stoke Newington Reservoirs 0745-0930 (MJP,LP)

Black-tailed Godwit - 1 imm.(see above)
Kingfisher - 1
Chiffchaff - 16
Willow Warbler - 12
Blackcap - 5
Reed Warbler - 1
Sand Martin - 1
Grey Wagtail - 6
Pied Wagtail - 5
Red Crested Pochard - 2
Shoveler - 23
Canada Goose - 3 (other wilfowl as is)
Common Gull - 1 ad.
Black-headed Gull - 10
Cormorant - 21

also: Speckled Woods and Red Admirals, omnipresent foxes at the res and in Abney.
additional: 2 Spotted Flycatchers, East Res., 7th Sep (TB)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

6th September 2006

SN Reservoirs 1800-2000hrs MJP, LP
very warm, some sun, some cloud. light-mod SW.

Spotted Flycatcher - 1
Common Swift - 3
Willow Warbler - 1
Reed Warbler - 1
Goldcrest - 2
Blackbird - 12
Song Thrush - 5
Mistle Thrush - 2
Starling - 50

most of the passerine migrants present yesterday have moved with today's clear skies, although another Spot Fly record (in one of the species favoured sites in the area, at the eastern end of the New River path) continues an unprecedented run this autumn. Wilfowl numbers remain high.

Canada Goose - 16
Common Pochard - 61
Shoveler - 15
Tufted Duck - c80
Ruddy Duck - c30
Mallard - 20
Gadwall - c20
Cormorant - 16
Grey Heron - 2
Great Crested Grebe - 3
Little Grebe - 9 (inc juvs)
Black-headed Gull - 25
Herring Gull - 3
LBB Gull - 8

additional: 2 Red-crested Pochards a.m (TB)
also two foxes (as is usual), several Speckled Woods and a Red Admiral.

Clissold Park 1300-1630hrs MJP
v warm, clear. light SW.

Common Swift - 1
Sand Martin - 4
House Martin - 3
Barn Swallow - 1
Sparrowhawk - 3
Grey Heron - 2
Cormorant - 7

also Small Toroiseshell - 1, Red Admiral - 1.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

5th September 2006

Stoke Newington Reservoirs 0645 - 1100hrs MJP,LP
warm, overcast. light W.

Siskin - 2
Spotted Flycatcher - 2
Red-crested Pochard - 2
Common Swift - 3
Barn Swallow - 2
House Martin - 8
Sand Martin - 6
Willow Warbler - 18
Chiffchaff - 3
Common Whitethroat - 1
Blackcap - 5
Reed Warbler - 3
Sparrowhawk - 3/4
Song Thrush - 20
Blackbird - 32
Goldcrest - 3
Starling - 100
Woodpigeon - 60
Jay - 9

enjoyable morning on patch, mainly on account of the variety of migrant passerines present - most feeding avidly on the plentiful insect supplies in warm and pleasant conditions; the Spot Flys and Siskins providing the highlights, but a good supporting cast of warblers, all three hirundines, thrushes and three late Swifts.

Also good counts of the commoner waterbirds, with duck numbers swelling significantly of late. Two Red-crested Pochards - an eclipse male and a female - are still on the West Res; almost all records last year (and in previous years) fell between mid-Aug and mid-Sep, and 2006 records appear to be going with type.

Great Crested Grebe - 4
Little Grebe - 9 (inc juvs)
Grey Heron - 5
Cormorant - 14
Canada Goose - 43
Gadwall - 25
Common Pochard - 50+
Tufted Duck - 70+
Shoveler - 19
Ruddy Duck - 27
Mallard - 20

Monday, September 04, 2006

4th September 2006

Clissold Park 1830 - 2010hrs MJP
mild, overcast. light W.

Noctule - 1

evening walk through the park, and no birds to speak of (the circus is in town, and the park's human population has doubled to 200,000....); but a single Noctule hunted moths over the New River/deer enclosure at dusk,with several Common Pipistrelles.

(additional: reports of Imm. Northern Wheatear in Clissold Park, 4 Sandwich Terns over East Res - TeRNS)