Tuesday, July 31, 2007

31st July 2007

Three sites covered today, on a what seemed like the first truly warm, sunny day in weeks....

Stoke Newington Reservoirs 0750-1000hrs

3 Common Terns, 12 Gadwall, 18 Pochard (plus fully grown brood of 7 on New River), 2 Shoveler, c16 Reed Warblers, 2 Sedge Warblers, 1 Willow Warbler, 4 Grey Wagtails, 1 Swallow

Walthamstow Marshes 1030-1230hrs

Garden Warbler (again singing from near southern bridge), 3 Sedge Warblers, 9 Common Whitethroats, 2 Blackcaps, 12 Linnets, 35 Goldfinches, 1 Common Tern, c150 Starlings

Clissold Park 1400-1540hrs

1 Common Tern, 1 Green Woodpecker, 4 Little Grebes, 1 Blackcap

Monday, July 30, 2007

26th, 27th, 28th & 29th July 2007

an update of the last few days:

26th - Walthamstow Marshes: 9 Sand Martins, 1 Meadow Pipit, 6 Linnets, family party of 4 Kestrels, c300 Starlings, 50 Black-headed Gulls inc. several juvs.

27th - Clissold Park: 2 Common Terns, 4 Little Grebes (2 ad, 2 juv), 2 Grey Herons, 1 Goldcrest.

28th - Walthamstow Marshes: 20 Linnets, 30 Goldfinches, 2 Common Terns, 2 Sparrowhawks, c60 Black-headed Gulls, 5 Herring Gulls inc. 1 juv.

29th - Walthamstow Marshes: Garden Warbler singing (by southern bridge), juv Willow Warbler, 4 Sedge Warblers, 5 Common Whitethroats, 1 Blackcap, 12 Linnets, 5 Reed Buntings & 32 Goldfinches in flock, 6 Common Terns, 5 Song Thrushes.

and a few shots from the last few days (the Terns are from Clissold Park, the rest from the marshes):

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

24th July 2007

Walthamstow Marshes 1030-1150 MJP
sunny, warm. light/mod W.

Hobby - 1
Common Tern - 3
Garden Warbler - 1 singing
Willow Warbler - 1
Common Whitethroat - 16
Sand Martin - 5
House Martin - c30
Goldfinch - 35, in single flock
Greenfinch - 10, -"-
Linnet - 8, -"-
Starling - 250

A pleasant day on the marshes after being away for the best part of a week in and around Oslo (Nutcrackers, Goldeneyes, Green Sandpipers, Fieldfares, Redwings and other expected local breeders all present and correct); within a minute or two of arriving over the bridge, a Hobby bulleted through, and unsuccessfully attacked the feeding finch flock in the central field before heading east. The third sighting at the site this year, and the first post-breeding record.

Warblers are still very much in evidence, with all the usual species present, as well as a Garden Warbler in song by the ice rink. The finch flock has grown, no doubt on account of the excellent habitat presently available.

some recent butterfly shots from today, and the 17th: -

mid-July (summary)

As expected at this time of year, visits to the usual sites during mid-month provided little of note to report, but for the expected breeding species and their fledged young, and a few signs of 'autumn' migration beginning.

Walthamstow Marshes continues to entertain, especially regarding butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies (more of which soon, with recent photos to follow); otherwise, notable sightings included a second record of Little Egret, again a pair, on the 12th (with two Common Gulls on the same day), a small movement of House Martins on the 17th, when at least 60 moved through in an hour, and single Swallow and Lesser Whitethroat on the same day. Finch flocks continue to enjoy the meadow-like habitat of the open areas, and Black-headed Gulls are again omnipresent.

Stoke Newington sites remain very quiet, with little more than the regular presence of up to three Common Sandpipers (and one Green on the 20th) at the Reservoirs. However, with the first post-breeding movements and dispersals beginning to filter through, efforts at the Reservoirs and elsewhere will step up accordingly, so hopefully it won't be too long now before slightly more interesting reports appear on this site.....

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

11th July 2007

Walthamstow Marshes 0930-1100 MJP
o/c, drizzle. mod W.

Little Egret - 2 ad's
Linnet - 12
Goldfinch - c30
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Black-headed Gull - 12

At last, Little Egrets graced the marshes with their presence while I happened to be around, and looking skyward....

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

early July 2007 (summary)

Regular visits to the marshes and the park over the last ten days or so produced little of note (hence laziness in updating the site), but the marshes in particular are full of life. Presently the entire Central Marsh (including the Bombcrater Field) is transformed into an unspoilt and extensive grass and wildflower meadow, with butterfly numbers (and species) providing easily enough to enjoy, as well as dragonflies, and various passerines exploiting the feeding bonanza available.

The Northern Marsh is equally wild and colourful, with extensive sedge and reed covering most of the area; there seems to be Reed Buntings and Sedge Warblers everywhere presently, and Common Whitethroats are perhaps the commonest species at the site. Seeing seven species of breeding warbler on most occasions this summer is really a pleasure at such an urban site.

Hirundines are pleasingly ubiquitous at the marshes, with several pairs of Sand Martin using drainage pipes as artificial nesting sites along the canal, and up to 30 House Martins (most likely from a nearby colony at the sewage works) usually present; Swift numbers vary between 50 and 250, depending on the weather and conditions.

Finches are beginning to flock again, and Black-headed Gulls are drifting back into the area, sure signs of 'autumn' movements taking over from any remaining late-spring occurences. The park, meanwhile, naturally has very limited appeal from an avian perspective especially at this time of year, but the lakes at least provide habitat and very close views for breeding Pochard, Little Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Mallard, Canada Goose and Mute Swan, as well as omnipresent Common Tern, Grey Heron and Cormorant. A singing Sedge Warbler a few days ago was a rare occurence on site.

The Reservoirs continue to produce very little, through a combination of lack of quality coverage and the time of year, a Common Sandpiper last week being the only notable (if expected) record. Swifts seem particularly numerous this year, and as I write (from the house, near Stoke Newington Common) at least a hundred are circling overhead.