Friday, August 24, 2007

24th August 2007

two sites:

Walthamstow Marshes 0930-1050 MJP
mild, o/c. light/mod NE.

Yellow Wagtail - 24
Whinchat - 4
Meadow Pipit - 1
Willow Warbler - 2
Common Whitethroat - 1
Sedge Warbler - 1
Swift - 250+
House Martin - 16
Pied Wagtail - 43
Starling - c370
Mistle Thrush - 13 (over)

Another morning of dull skies and winds from the north-east quarter after a night of heavy rain, and another relatively entertaining haul of grounded migrants (but oh, to be on the coast...). Three Whinchats remain in the cow field, where a single Meadow Pipit also put down; a small scattering of warblers is an improvement on the last couple of weeks, the Pied Wagtail flock on the mowed, south field numbered 43, and a huge, swirling tower of Swifts hawked noisily above the filter beds.

But the highlight of the day was the loose flock of Yellow Wagtails in the cow field, having more than trebled in size since yesterday. Having waxed on this page some months ago about hopes of Whinchat, Wheatear and Yellow Wagtail in the cow field come the autumn, this week has provided all three, with numbers of the latter way exceeding expectations.

Clissold Park 1330-1500 MJP
humid, o/c (but a little brighter), still.

Willow Warbler - 9+
Reed Warbler - 4
Chiffchaff - 2
Blackcap - 2
Common Whitethroat - 1
Goldcrest - 10+
Long-tailed Tit - 16+
Chaffinch - 18
Little Grebe - 4
Sparrowhawk - 1
Swift - 4+
House Martin - 5

A very entertaining walk in the park, on account of a rich and varied feeding flock of passerines moving slowly along the northern edge of the park and around the lakes; conditions were ideal, with the showers ending, the wind dropping entirely and the air becoming very warm and muggy, and full of insects. The size and variety of the flock was indicative of migrants - having been driven down by the conditions and wind of the last couple of days - enjoying the first extended opportunity to refuel.

a few photos from yesterday (Whinchat from the Marshes, Magpies and Roe deer from Clissold Park):