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