Friday, May 18, 2007

18th May 2007

Clissold Park 1200-1350 MJP
warm, sunny. mod/gusting SW.

Blackcap - 3
Canada Goose - pair with 4 young
Swift - c20

(otherwise as is.)

17th May 2007

two sites:

Walthamstow Marshes 1100-1300 MJP
o/c, some sun, occ. showers, very humid. light/mod W.

Cuckoo - 2
Garden Warbler - 1 (singing from north scrub)
Common Tern - 1 (fishing along the canal)
Common Whitethroat - at least 13 singing males
Lesser Whitethroat - 2
Sedge Warbler - 4 singing males
Sand Martin - 10
Blackcap - 5
Reed Warbler - 1
Willow Warbler - 5
Chiffchaff - 2
Swift - c200
Linnet - 5

Clissold Park 1300-1445 MJP
showers, o/c. very warm. light/mod W.

Swallow - 3
Blackcap - 3
Chiffchaff - 1
Pochard - 13 (+ 5 young)
Swift - 50
Goldcrest - juveniles again present

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

16th May 2007

Clissold Park 1500-1645 MJP
dull, damp, showers. light W.

Goldcrest - adult with two juvs
Pochard - 12 (excluding young)
House Martin - 2
Blackcap - 2
Little Grebe - pair with 2 young, plus a third adult

13th, 14th & 15th May 2007

13th -
near Stoke Newington Common: 13 Swallows and a male Reed Bunting over the house, between 1900-1930.

14th -

Clissold Park: Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcaps, 10 Pochard (exc. brood of 8 young, inc. 1 f on nest), c50 Swifts;
Abney Park Cemetery: Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcaps, 7 Jays, f Sparrowhawk.

15th -

Walthamstow Marshes: f Yellow Wagtail, c160 Swifts, 20+ Sand Martins, 12 House Martins, 1 Swallow, all the usual warblers (inc. Lesser Whitethroat), 8 Linnets (excl. breeding pair).

The low-pressure dominated, dull & often wet conditions continue; but for a Yellow Wag in the Bombcrater Field on the marshes and a flock of Linnets on the south field, very little of note to report, except spontaneous concentrations of hirundines brought together, and down, by sharp showers.

Friday, May 11, 2007

11th May 2007

Clissold Park 1500-1700 MJP
changeable, odd showers. Mod W.

Chiffchaff - 1
Blackcap - 3
Pochard - 9
Swift - c60
Little Grebe - pair with 3 young

The changeable, cooler, windier conditions of the last week, reverting back to a more typical spring cycle of low pressure systems moving east over the country from the Atlantic, have probably compounded the already very quiet spring in the area. Although, because of other temporary constraints, I've put less time in over the last couple of months, the lack of noteworthy records - i.e. notable counts, local scarcities, visible migration - has made hard work of it lately.

Visible migration over the area (our preferred vantage points being the East Reservoir and Clissold Park) has been almost non-existent this spring, in sharp contrast to the relative bounty of quality and quantity of last autumn; interesting in itself, and it'll be fascinating to see how skywatching goes this autumn.
Not that there isn't still time for a decent raptor....

10th May 2007

Walthamstow Marshes 0850-1030 MJP
changeable, mainly fine. blustery W.

Yellow Wagtail - 1
Shelduck - 2
Sand Martin - 2
House Martin - 1
Lesser Whitethoat - 1
Common Whitethroat - 8 territories (in southern half alone)
Sedge Warbler - 3 singing
Chiffchaff - 1
Willow Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 3

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

8th May 2007

two sites:

Walthamstow Marshes 1100-1250 MJP
changeable, sharp showers. mod W, gusting strong.

House Martin - 5
Linnet - 3
Reed Bunting - 3

all the usual warblers on territory.

Clissold Park 1310-1440 MJP
mainly sunny. mod W, gusting strong.

House Martin - 3
Chiffchaff - 1
Willow Warbler - 1
Blackcap - 3
Pochard - 4
Little Grebe - pair with 3 chicks

Sunday, May 06, 2007

6th May 2007

SN Reservoirs 0550-0830 MJP
cool, o/c. mod W.

Shelduck - 2
Common Tern - 4
Common Whitethroat - 1
Canada x Greylag Goose - 1
Sedge Warbler - 1
Reed Warbler - 13
Blackcap - 3
Swallow - 1
House Martin - 1
Swift - c100
Stock Dove - 2 pairs
Pochard - 3 pairs
Gadwall - 2 pairs
Tufted Duck - 18
Ruddy Duck - 1m, 2f
Little Grebe - 3 pairs
Great Crested Grebe - 2 pairs
Reed Bunting - 4
Long-tailed Tit - 16
Goldcrest - 2
Linnet - 1 (north)

A quiet early session at the reservoirs (as it has been all spring...); four Common Terns is however the top count so far this year, and the brief presence of a pair of Shelduck is the third record this spring - all of pairs - of this previously less-than-annual species. Visible migration / skywatching has been almost fruitless so far, with a solitary Linnet being the only eye (and ear) opener this morning, aside from the multitude of Swifts and single Swallow and House Martins.

An unseasonal flock of 13 Long-tailed Tits were by Lordship Road (just south of the Res), where a pair of Goldcrests are now presumably breeding.

Friday, May 04, 2007

in the garden, 4th May

A tame vixen in the back garden this afternoon, evidently with many young mouths to feed (look a little closer at the last shot). Hackney isn't always this pretty.

4th May 2007

two sites today:

Walthamstow Marshes 0850-1040 MJP
cool, cloudy. mod NNW.

Hobby - 1
Cuckoo - 1
Sand Martin - 5
Swallow - 1
Swift - c40
Common Whitethroat - 15+
Blackcap - 7
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Sedge Warbler - 5
Willow Warbler - 2
Chiffchaff - 2
Linnet - 4
Reed Bunting - 3
Sparrowhawk - 2
Kestrel - 1

Another pretty good day on the marshes, although the highlights echoed yesterday's sightings; the Cuckoo is almost certainly the same male which has been present for 12 days now, and the Hobby - great views again, as it harried Swifts and Sand Martins above the railway line - may or may not be yesterday's bird. Otherwise, warbler numbers remain high, with the density of Common Whitethroats apparently on territory (or in dispute for) particularly healthy.

Clissold Park 1300-1450 MJP
sunny, warm, mod NW.

Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Blackcap - 3+
Pochard - 9 (inc. pair mating)
Swift - c60
Sparrowhawk - pair
Kestrel - 1
Little Grebe - pair

A second record of Lesser Whitethroat, again the NW corner of the park was the highlight; otherwise, the encouraging presence of Blackcaps occupying almost all suitable habitat in the area continues, and Coots & Moorhens (as well as Mallards) all have broods on the lake.

Still no large raptors, despite regular sky-watches throughout April and now into May....

Thursday, May 03, 2007

3rd May 2007

Walthamstow Marshes 1100-1250 MJP
o/c, brighter later. mod N.

Hobby - 1
Cuckoo - 1 singing
large falcon sp. - south @ 1210 towards waterworks LNR (see below)
Common Whitethroat - 21
Lesser Whitethroat - 2
Sedge Warbler - 6
Reed Warbler - 2
Chiffchaff - 1
Garden Warbler - 1 (again singing in northern copse)
Blackcap - 12
Willow Warbler - 2
Reed Bunting - 5
Linnets - pair (now breeding)
Swallow - 3
Swift - 60+

Relatively speaking, a rich and varied session on the marshes. A Hobby, present for a few minutes and giving good views before leaving to the north, was the first site record this year, and a Cuckoo singing loudly from an exposed perch in the north copse was another personal site tick - although reliable locals have apparently been listening to it daily for at least ten days.

Warblers were particularly good, with (for the second time in ten days) eight species present, and a high count of 21 Common Whitethroats. The real surprise of the day however came in the form of a large falcon, in from the north-east and heading south at some speed, viewable for about ten seconds - just long enough to be able to tell what it wasn't (Peregrine, any smaller spp.), and not exactly what it was (ticking many ID boxes for Saker, but not conclusively).

The chances of conclusively identifying, or establishing the credentials of, the bird are next to none, but it reintroduced a (currently rare) unexpected complexion to local patch-watching at least.

1st May 2007

Abney Park Cemetery 1300-1400 MJP
sunny, warm. Light N.

Blackcap - 7
Stock Dove - 5
Chiffchaff - 1
Green Woodpecker 2
GS Woodpecker - 2

other reports:
LP had another single Common Tern through, 3 Blackcaps, a few hirundines and over a hundred Swifts at the Reservoirs.

Spring passage remains fairly unexciting at all local patches, with little in the way of quantity or quality so far (but for several raptor flyovers).

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

27th April 2007

Clissold Park 1230-1350 MJP
bright, warm. light W.

Gadwall - pair
Blackcap - 1
Pochard - 9
Little Grebe - pair
Swift - c20

other reports: (end of April)
LP had another two Shelduck at the ER on 27th, and four Common Sandpipers were reported on 29th. Otherwise, spring migration remains predictable, with regular numbers of hirundines, a scattering of the commoner warblers, and occasional Common Terns at the reservoirs.