Sunday, December 30, 2007

Filey Dams LNR, 27th December 2007

In addition to the posting below, we took a couple of hours out a few miles NW of Flamborough to visit Filey Dams LNR, a nice little wetland reserve on the edge of the town.

Nothing unusual to report, but a few Common Snipe, eight Gadwall, a Shelduck, over a hundred Teal, ubiquitous Tree Sparrows and a couple of good photo opportunities:

Friday, December 28, 2007

Flamborough Head, 24th - 27th December 2007

Back home for Christmas, and a few early morning walks on the Head. Not much around of any note, but for the healthy passerine flocks feeding on the newly-landscaped, superb Northcliffe Marsh (to the top of the class, Mr. Baines....); at least 30 Snow Buntings and three Lapland Buntings were the distinctly seasonal highlight.

(all photos from South Landing beach)

The Naze, 20th December 2007

A whirlwind trip out to Essex for a night, and then a full day's walking out on the Naze under clear blue skies and watery winter sunshine. Without another soul around, we walked around the scrub and reserve area, before setting off along the beach, with the saltmarsh on one side and the shingle, mud and sand on the other, to Stone Point.

Always a pleasure, especially under such perfect midwinter conditions, and the tide was on our side for getting close to the various wader, wildfowl and gull species (as well as resting Grey Seals). Waders were especially numerous, with good numbers of all the regular wintering species, including Grey Plovers, Dunlins, Sanderlings, Bar-tailed Godwits, Curlews, Ringed Plovers, Lapwings, Golden Plovers, Turnstones, Redshanks, Oystercatchers and Knot; Wildfowl were also well represented, with the always entertaining Brents in their thousands being the pick.

Other highlights included at least nine Little Egrets, four Med Gulls, and four Corn Buntings with the finch flocks on the set-aside - the first time I've come across the latter species at the Naze.

Monday, December 24, 2007

13th - 24th December (update)

An update of recent sightings in the area, a little late owing to festive laziness.... Merry Christmas and a happy new year year to all, and expect a bigger and better 'Stoke Newington Birds' early in 2008.

13th December

Walthamstow Marshes: Little Egret (briefly down in bombcrater field, then west), Little Owl, 23 Meadow Pipits, 7 Linnets, 5 Siskins, 2 Stonechats, 2 Sparrowhawks

17th December

Walthamstow Marshes: 5 Lapwings (2 down in bombcrater field), 1 Little Owl, 1 Stonechat, 19 Fieldfares, 7 Redwings, 2 Linnets, 3 Meadow pipits, 8 Stock Doves

Hackney Marshes (River Lea)/ Middlesex Filter Beds NR: Redshank (appeared to put down at Waterworks NR), 12 Siskins, 2 Chiffchaffs, 5 Redwings, 14 Gadwall over, 5 Teal

21st December

Walthamstow Marshes: 3 Goldeneye NNW (m & 2f), 10 Gadwall N, 2 Teal N, 4 Stonechats, 1 Chiffchaff, 25+ Meadow pipits, 3 Siskins, 5 Linnets, 7 Fieldfares

Abney Park Cemetery: Tawny Owl (mobbed, but sleeping)

At the reservoirs, at least one Water Rail is present, and yesterday (23rd) Tony recorded several Wigeon and an adult female Red-crested Pochard; otherwise, but for common and expected species, it's very quiet locally.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

12th December 2007

Walthamstow Marshes 0930-1215 MJP
sunny, clear, frost thawing. light variable wind.

one of seven Meadow Pipits this morning, most of which were preening in treetops.

Two of at least 29 siskins this morning, a very high count for the site. Many of the finches were feeding in mixed groups in the trees and bushes along the western edge of the sewage works, just south of the car-park. The siskins kept mainly to themselves (but for a few errant Goldfinches), gave excellent views and remained faithful to the row of trees by the footpath. The Bramblings, meanwhile, were feeding with Chaffinches just a few metres south of the car-park.

It's been an especially good autumn for Siskins in the area, with small numbers pretty much guaranteed during each visible migration watch, some birds dropping in to feed; movements have continued throughout Nov and Dec, and the species has been regularly present at the Reservoirs, as well as occuring with more regularity in Abney Park and Clissold Park. Middlesex Filter Beds has held between 2 and sixteen on each visit during the last few weeks, and today's relative bonanza at the marshes continues the pattern.

Little Owl - 1
Siskin - 29+
Brambling - 2+
Chaffinch - 25
Goldfinch - 35
Greenfinch - 15
Stonechat - pair
Meadow Pipit - 7
Redwing - 11
Fieldfare - 2
Water Rail - 1

Monday, December 10, 2007

Recent Photographs 3: mid-November - mid-December 2007

More photos taken during the autumn at local patches, the following coming from mid-November to mid-December.

male Shoveler, Clissold Park, 14th November

Grey Wagtail, Hackney Marshes (River Lea), 15th November

male Teal, Hackney Marshes (River Lea), 29th November

male Stonechat, Walthamstow Marshes, 5th December

Friday, December 07, 2007

Recent Photographs 2: mid-October - mid-November 2007

18th October 2007

Walthamstow Marshes

26th October 2007

Long-tailed Tits, Stoke Newington reservoirs

Rose-ringed Parakeets, Clissold Park. Up to seven were regularly seen in the park during the autumn, the first sign of colonisation in the borough.

Recent Photographs 1: late September to mid October 2007

A selection of photos from local sites. (All are taken on the date and at the location specified).

26th September 2007

Black-headed Gull & Moorhen, Clissold Park

Adult Little Grebe, Clissold Park. The breeding pair successfully raised two broods this year.

30th September 2007

Comma in the garden, near Stoke Newington Common

10th October 2007

Cormorants, Clissold Park

11th October 2007

Lapwing, Stoke Newington Reservoirs - a scarce migrant in the area.

Male Stonechat, Walthamstow Marshes

1st - 7th December 2007 - update

As for much of the last month, I've been visiting various local sites of late, for the sake of peace and variety; also as for much of the last month, there's been little to report locally (either from Stoke Newington sites or those in the lower Lea Valley described in the last post), but plenty of variety provided by the commoner winter species.

5th December

Walthamstow Marshes: 3 Stonechats (2m, 1f), 3 Skylarks, 5 Meadow Pipits, 1 Brambling with flock of c20 Chaffinches (small field immediately right of riding centre)

6th December

Walthamstow Marshes: 2 Stonechats, 3 Skylarks, 2 Reed Buntings, 10 Meadow Pipits, 4 Fieldfares, c20 Redwings, c20 Mistle Thrushes, c30 Goldfinches, c35 Chaffinches, 14 Teal & 9 Gadwall over

Middlesex Filter Beds NR: 2 Chiffchaffs

7th December

Abney Park Cemetery: 1 Chiffchaff, 6 Goldcrests, c20 LT Tits