Back after a long weekend of musical activities in Herfordshire and Wales, which provided brief opportunities to enjoy the local countryside and its birds - the highlights being a particularly strong showing of Red Kites along a stretch of the M40 near Oxford, where at least 50 birds performed close by in the sunshine, along with numerous Common Buzzards en route; large numbers of winter thrushes (with flocks of several hundred birds) along the Welsh / English border; a couple of hours in the Forest of Dean, with various locally common species (Nuthatches, Bullfinches, Treecreepers etc.); and a drive home through the night brightened up by several Barn Owls.
two sites today:
Walthamstow Marshes 1100-1250 MJP, JA
mainly bright with sunny intervals, cold. blustery N.
Little Owl - 1
Jackdaw - 1W
Fieldfare - c60
Redwing - c30
Meadow Pipit - 6
Siskin - 1 over
A distinctly wintery feel on the marshes today, with the hope of the first spring migrant (e.g. an early Sand Martin or Wheatear) seemingly remaining a vain one; with cool weather and northerly winds forecast for the next few days, it may be a while yet before such heart-lifters make it into the local area, but the anticipation grows....
Abney Park Cemetery
nothing of note, but the common spp. continue their spring-influenced activities, with Great Spotted Woodpeckers being especially hard to avoid.
Nothing of note elsewhere in the local area either, with the usual suspects at the Reservoirs (common wildfowl, Reed Buntings, Grey Wagtails, good numbers of the commoner gull spp.) and Clissold Park (Shovelers and Pochards on the lake, a few Redwings and the now omnipresent Rose-ringed Parakeets in the trees).