May 31, 2010

Story - Watching a Blue Tit fledge

Watching a Blue Tit Family Fledge (Kathy Hartnett)
My nicest 'sighting' in Wanstead Park was seeing a blue tit baby fledge! The family's nest was situated in a hole in the lower corner of an old bricked-window on The Temple building. Whilst in the Park yesterday, two volunteers at The Temple (George and Sue) beckoned me over, as they had been watching the beginnings of the family fledging. They had actually already seen five of the baby birds fledge (one of whom had fleetingly landed on George's arm), and I was just in time to see 'number six' (the final fledgeling).

The baby bird had emerged from the nest hole, and was now balanced precariously on the window ledge. He was calling out for Mum and Dad, but they and the rest of the family were nowhere to be seen.

After a while, the baby bird started to climb up the wall, heading for the roof of the building. It took him several minutes to inch his way up, and at one time he slipped back down a bit, making us all catch our breath.

However, he eventually made his way near to the top of the wall, and then began to realise that he could actually fly, and hapharzadly flew his way, via a little detour, up onto the roof. It was remarkable to watch this tiny baby bird taking his first steps in the world - climbing what must have seemed like Mount Everest - and then taking his first flight.

I've never seen a 'fledge' take place before, so I felt quite privileged. (KH)

May 31st 2010

Fairlop Gravel Works:
  • 4 Mute Swans, planty Canada Geese, 2 Shelduck, Mallards (including 2 new young broods of 8 and 4), c20 Tufted Duck, 5 Gadwall, 2 trilling Little Grebe, Coots Moorhens.
  • c20 Herring Gulls and 10 Lesser Black Backed Gulls (mostly adults)
  • 8 Lapwing (the nest I located last week is now empty, and parents are guarding young.. (i suspect 4 breeding pairs)
  • 2 confirmed pairs of Little Ringed Plover guarding territories (possibly a third pr)
  • pair of Redshank very likely breeding on the north side, still displaying, and calling to each other... But only 1 is actively flying round (but i cannot locate the nest site)
  • late migrant Greenshank (south side of painters road) - calling, and quite nervous
  • c30 Swift flying low over the waters
  • 2 Stock Dove
  • singing Skylark
  • male Yellow Wagtail carrying food (suggestive of breeding on site?)
  • Green Woodpecker on the ground
  • pair of Sedge Warbler nest building, and a 3rd (male) singing.
  • 5 Reed Warblers including 4 singing males
  • c10 Linnet (including fledged young), Chaffinches, and also Greenfinches with fledged young
  • male Reed Bunting (DEH)

Valentines Park:

  • Great Crested Grebe sitting back on the nest - so heres hoping.
  • Mute Swan family of 10 (8 cygnets) on the boating lake, a pr on the fish pond, and another loner on Long Water... increasing!
  • Canada Geese, 1 Egyptian Goose, 1 hybrid Greylag Goose, Mallards, Tufted Ducks, Coots, Moorhens, 2male and 1female Pochard
  • Grey Heron and 3 chicks still on the nest.
  • 1 Black Headed Gull, 2 Lesser Black Backed Gulls,
  • Feral Pigeon, 2 Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, 4 Collared Dove,
  • 3 Swift
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker actively feeding young
  • Green Woodpecker,
  • Pied Wagtail
  • Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush
  • 1 Blackcap
  • Blue Tits, Great Tits, party of 7 active Long Tailed Tits
  • Magpie, Carrion Crows, Starlings, 7 House Sparrow
  • Chaffinch (many in song)
  • 1 Greenfinch, 2 Goldfinch foraging on Ilford Cricket Club ground (Mike Condon)

Wanstead Flats:

  • 2 Greylag Geese, Alex Lake
  • 2 Little Grebes, Alex Lake
  • 40 Swifts over Alex Lake
  • 19 Skylarks, including 12 singing birds
  • 9 Meadow Pipits, including 5 singing birds
  • 4 Mistle Thrushes (I suspect nesting in Long Wood and the BP copse)
  • 17 Whitethroats, including 11 singing males
  • 3 singing Blackcaps
  • 2 singing Chiffchaffs
  • 3 Reed Buntings (2 males and a female, 1 of the males carrying food) (THarris)

Wanstead Park:

  • Shoulder of Mutton Pond swan family still has all seven cygnets.
  • I saw the two Great Crested Grebes on Perch Pond, swimming (whilst dozing) together. Still no sign of any nesting activity, although we live in hope! (KHartnett)

Abridge, River Roding: (just outside the borough)

  • Great White Egret north towards Stapleford Aerodrome (P&HS)

May 30, 2010

May 30th 2010

Fairlop Waters:
  • Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen
  • Herring Gull, Lesser Black Backed Gull,
  • Collared Dove, Woodpigeon
  • Pied Wagtail
  • Sand Martin, Swallow, Swift
  • Skylark
  • Blackbird, Robin, Wren
  • Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler,
  • Blue Tit, Great Tit
  • Carrion Crow, Magpie, Starling, House Sparrow
  • Chaffinch, Greenfinch
  • Reed Bunting, (Tony Leaderman)
Valentines Park:

  • Mute Swans - 2 on Long water, family of 2 ad & 8 juveniles on the boating lake
  • Grey Heron with 3 juvenlines on or around the nest, juvs nearly as big as the adult now.
  • 1 Greylag Goose (hybrid), Canada Geese, Mallards, Tufted Ducks, Moorhens, Coots
  • 3 Pochard on the baoting lake (2m, 1f)
  • 2 Cormorant,
  • 1 Egyptian Goose foraging
  • Feral Pigeons, Woodpigeons, 2 Collared Dove, 2 Stock Dove
  • 5 Swift
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker actively feeding young
  • Wren (many singing), Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush
  • 2 Blackcap
  • Great Tit, Blue Tit, 2 Long Tailed Tit
  • Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starlings (not as many as last week, but still buzzing everywhere)
  • 7 House Sparrows
  • Chaffinch, 3 Greenfinch, 2 Goldfinch (MCondon)

Pics - May 2010

Egyptian Goose at Valentiens Park today - speculation is that the female is on another batch of eggs following the murder of her ducklings earlier in the month.... this is however, unconfirmed
pic by Mike Condon

May 29, 2010

May 29th 2010

Fairlop Waters CP:
  • Mute Swan family have left the nest (lagoon), but couldnt locate...
  • 2 Little Grebe and Mallard with 2 ducklings (lagoon)
  • 200 Swift and 2 House Martin over the boating lake
  • just fledged Whitethroat...
  • male Reed Bunting (DEH)

Five Oaks Lane Scrubland:

  • 7.25-8.45am
  • 4 Cuckoos (3 noisy and busy males, and 1 female)
  • Kestrel hovering...
  • Green Woodpecker
  • 2 Pheasent (heard)
  • 2 Chiffchaff, 5 Willow Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 8 Whitethroat (less then the other day, but i didnt do the whole site) Garden Warbler singing (and seen)
  • 4 Song Thrush, 3 Blackbird, 2 Wren
  • 3 Great Tit, Blue Tit, family of at least 8 Long Tailed Tit
  • 6 Linnet
  • 2 Jay
  • singing Goldcrest near Five Oaks Lane
  • 6 Yellowhammer (6 singing males) (DEH)

Roding Valley Park, north:

  • Little Egret on the river, just north of Chigwell Road in Woodford Bridge at 6.50am
  • (still present at 4.35pm) (DEH)

Valentines Park:

  • Mute Swan family doing very well
  • As well as the extra pair on the Long Water, we now have a Cob on the Fish Pond.
  • No sign of the Egyptians, but recently I last saw the male on his own, and today I noticed some new down caught on the edge of the nest hole. Possibly trying for a secong brood?
  • 2 male, 1 female Pochard. on Boating Lake. No sign of any romance though.
  • Live G S Woodpecker nest found, or tree doing baby woodpecker impressions. (PHopkins)
Wanstead Park:
  • singing Lesser Whitethroat in old sewage works, along with hunting male Sparrowhawk, Green Woodpecker, plenty of Whitethroats etc.
  • 2 Great Crested Grebes on Perch
  • Grey Heron in The Dell
  • singing Willow Warbler on The Plain
  • Little Grebe still sitting on nest on Heronry; 2 other Little Grebes on the lake
  • 12 Malland ducklings on Heronry and Shoulder of Mutton
  • singing Reed Warbler by Shoulder of Mutton (Tim Harris)
Wanstead Flats:
  • Excellent views of male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker visiting the nest hole over a dozen times. Hurrah! (AHobson)

Pics - May 2010

Blue Tit with a tasty treat in Woodford Green garden (PWarne)
Swift at Fairlop Waters (PWarne)

May 28, 2010

May 28th 2010

Fairlop Gravel Works:
  • north side of Painters Road (old silt lagoon)
  • male Shoveler, male Gadwall, c20 Tufted Duck, Cormorant, trilling Little Grebe
  • 2 pairs of Lapwing guarding nests
  • 2 Redshank displaying (I suspect, but cannot confirm nesting nearby)
  • 2 Whitethroat, Blackcap, 5 male Reed Warbler singing! (most i've heard) and 2 male Sedge Warbler in song
  • singing Skylark
  • 2 Sand Martin, c10 Swift
  • 6 Linnet
  • 2 Reed Bunting (1 female collecting food, and a male singing) (DEH)

Fairlop Waters CP:

  • 20 swift
  • several blackcap singing, more whitethroat
  • 1 hobby cruising at height
  • 2 reed bunting
  • 4 linnet
  • 5 collared dove by stable pond (PWarne)

Five Oaks Lane:

  • 10 Whitethroat
  • Garden Warbler
  • 2 Linnet
  • female Sparrowhawk (PWarne)
Roding Valley Park, central:
  • Scrubland between Roding Lane North and M11
  • 3 Linnet
  • 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 3 Whitethroat, Chiffchaff,
  • 2 Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush,
  • Cormorant, Greenfinch (Alan Hobson)

Roding Valley Park, north:

  • section north of Chigwell Road
  • 2 Little Egret
  • male Blackcap,
  • pr Mistle Thrushes, Song Thrush,
  • family of Moorhens, Whitethroat (Alan Hobson)

Woodford Bridge, St. Judes Court:

  • Kestrel (Alan Hobson)

Woodford, Station:

  • Lesser Black Backed Gull (Alan Hobson)

May 27, 2010

May 27th 2010

Five Oaks Lane, scrubland:
  • The scrubland and secondary woodland area south of Five Oaks Lane, and north and east of Forest Farm, Romford Road, Collier Row (just south of Hainault Golf Course).
  • 6 or 7 Cuckoos. (Yes, i am not having you on, there were at least 6. I was on site from 6-8pm and saw 4 together at 1 point, while hearing another 2 calling in the distance at the same time. There were at least 4 calling males, and i am pretty sure there were 3 separate pairs, so it is likely there were 7 birds present, but i can only confirm 6. Durint the 2 hours i was there Cuckoos were vocal most of the time, calling, displaying, fighting and chasing each other around the site)
  • 4 Pheasant
  • 10 singing Whitethroat, 12 singing Willow Warbler (best site in the borough for this species this year), 4 singing Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap (4m, 2f)
  • 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker
  • 6 Swallows at Forest Farm buildings, 2 Swift (over)
  • 16 Woodpigeon, 8 Collared Dove
  • 7 Blackbird, 10 Song Thrush (including 9 singing), Robin, 2 Wren, Dunnock (likely target of the Cuckoos), 2 Mistle Thrushes fighting on Five Oaks Lane
  • 10 Magpie, 2 Carrion Crow, 2 Jay, c100 Starling (mostly over Forest Farm, and south of Romford Road), 3 House Sparrow (many more calling in the bushes near Romford Road)
  • 11 singing Chaffinch, 4 Blue Tit, 2 Great Tit, 4 Long tailed Tit
  • 7 Linnet (1 pair, and a flock of 5)
  • 8 male Yellowhammer territories! - an excellent discovery for the borough! (DEH) - I shall be going again on Saturday morning, weather permitting (rain forecast) if anyone wants to join me - holla
Wanstead Park:
  • Shoulder of Mutton Pond:
  • 9 Mute Swans (2 ads and 7 cygnets)
  • Great Crested Grebe Little Grebe
  • Singing Reed Warbler
  • Heronry Pond:
  • 10 Mute Swans (2 ads and 8 cygnets)
  • 2 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Little Grebes
  • c30 Swifts
  • Perch Pond: 3 Great Crested Grebes (but 1 of these I think may have been the earlier Shoulder of Mutton bird)
  • 2 Stock Doves
  • Old Sewage Works:
  • Singing Reed Warbler
  • Whitethroat taking caterpillars, presumably to a nest (THarris)

May 26, 2010

May 26th 2010

Fairlop Gravel Works:
  • all 8 Canada Goose nests are now empty, and broods are scattered accross the site.
  • Mute Swan, Mallard, Shelduck, pr Gadwall, Coot, Moorhen
  • 2+ Lapwing, 3+ Little Ringed Plover
  • c10 Lesser Black Backed Gulls, 2 Herring Gulls
  • 2 Stock Dove
  • c20 Swifts, 10 House Martin collecting wet mud (largest number so far)
  • 2 Yellow Wagtail still present!
  • 2 Linnet (DEH)

Fairlop Waters:

  • c50 Swifts

Hainault, Forest Park Crematorium:

  • 2 male Hobby at Forest Road Crematorium, c13:00hrs: (Neil Santy)


  • Swift Sightings:
  • Gearies centre - 6 regularly and I've spotted two nests sites (swifts going in under the eaves of houses).
  • Ilford Garden 3-4 but can't tell where they're nesting, also 4-5 House Martins.
  • Valentines - again 3-4 Swifts usually (Barbara J)

Valentines Park:

  • Family of Mute Swans (pr + 8 cygnets on the boating lake), additional adult on Long Water.
  • 1 Egyptian Goose, 1 Greylag Goose (hybrid), many Canada Geese, Mallards, few Tufted Duck, 1 male and 1 female Pochard on the baoting lake.
  • 3 juvenile Grey Herons still on the nest
  • 2 Great Crested Grebe on the boating lake
  • 3 Lesser Black Backed Gulls, 3 Black Headed Gulls
  • 5 Swift
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker
  • Woodpigeons, Feral Pigeons, 1 Stock Dove, 2 Collared Dove
  • Wren, Robin, Dunnock, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush
  • Blue Tits, Great Tits, 2 Long Tailed Tits
  • Carrion Crows, Magpies,
  • Starlings, 9 House Sparrow, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Greenfinch (U3A Birding Group, via MC)

Wanstead, Windsor Road:

  • escaped White-cheeked Turaco again (J Lethbridge)

Wanstead Flats:

  • (07:00-11:00): Great Crested Grebe (still Alexandra Lake),
  • Coal Tit (by cemetry),
  • squirrel swimming to island on Alexandra Lake being attacked by coots,
  • 4 House Martin, loads of Swift,
  • 1 imm Common Gull (Jub),
  • Ring Necked Parakeet,
  • 5 Cormorant,
  • 2 Lesser Black Backed Gull,
  • 3 Mistle Thrush,
  • Reed Bunting and
  • Coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Starling, Carrion Crow, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Blue tit, Great Tit, Long-Tailed Tit, Coal Tit (by cemetery), Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting, Skylark, Wood Pigeon, 2 Stock Dove, Collared Dove, Green Woodpecker, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, Little Grebe, Blackbird, Song Thrush, 3 Mistle Thrush, Robin, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, Wren, Dunnock, Meadow Pipit (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park:

  • Reed Warbler still by Shoulder of Mutton,
  • 2 Bullfinch,
  • 2 Grey Heron, 1 imm Herring Gull,
  • 3 Great Crested Grebe on Perch,
  • Ring Necked Parakeet,
  • even more loads of Swift
  • also: Coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Starling, Carrion Crow, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, House Sparrow, Blue tit, Great Tit, Long-Tailed Tit, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, 3 Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Little Grebe, 3 Great Crested Grebe (on Perch), Blackbird, Song Thrush, Robin, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, Wren, Dunnock(Nick Croft)
  • ps Reed Warbler still present at SOM (evening) (PFerris)

Highams Park, garden: (just outside the borough)

  • My garden, Highams Park, just outside the borough: A newly fledged family of Great Tits, being fed in our Sycamore tree, the parents were busily collecting food and feeding the youngsters!! A Magpie from our nesting birds, sitting on our washing line, with food in it`s beak!! (Emma Charles)

Video - Blue Tits of South Woodford: Episode 11

ok then, if you dnt want it, i'll eat it myself!

May 25, 2010

Pics - May 2010

The new Swan Ride at Wanstead Park (Sally Hammond)

Lapwing Nest - Fairlop Gravel Works (DEH)

Ring Necked Parakeets in the garden (SHammond)

Picture Perfect Mute Swan Family, Wanstead Park (JL)

May 25th 2010

Aldersbrook, Empress Avenue:

  • 3 Ring Necked Parakeet in the garden (Sally Hammond)

Loxford, Loxford Lane:

  • 4 Swifts

South Park:

  • Mute Swan, Canada Geese, 2 Greylag Geese,
  • Mallards, c20 Tufted Duck, 2 male Pochard
  • Cormorant, Great Crested Grebe
  • Pied Wagtail
  • c150 Feral Pigeon
  • loads of fledged Starlings

South Woodford:

  • Jackdaw (over) (PGordon)
  • BLUE TIT NEWS: Fledged...But nowhere to be seen! The parent is hanging around a fair bit and looking for the chick. Hopefully it will turn up at some point...

Valentines Park:

  • 3 Grey Heron chicks and parent present!
  • Egyptian Goose being a bit violent...

Wanstead Flats:

  • 2 Meadow Pipit collecting food and diving down into the long grass, presumabley to feed young (THarris)
  • Wanstead Flats (07:30-11:00): Carrion Crow (c.90 on the flats west of Alex, c.100 evicted birds by Jubilee pond); 3 Pied Wagtail, 14 Cormorant, 11 Lesser Black-Backed Gull (2 imm), 5 House Martin, c. 6 Sand Martin (Jubilee Pond), 3 Swallow, 5 Little Grebe (2 chicks on Alex), Great Crested Grebe (first for a long time), 2 imm Common Gull, 1 imm Herring Gull, 1 Ring Necked Parakeet, Stock Dove, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Blackbird etc. (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park:

  • Reed Warbler singing in the reeds at Shoulder of Mutton Pond (JLethbridge)
  • flock of 10 Ring Necked Parakeets over in the evening (SHammond)

Woodford Green:

  • Red Kite (over) (KM)

Video: Blue Tits of South Woodford: Episode 10

Toilet Duty!

by Peter Gordon. (episode 11 tomorrow...)

May 24, 2010

Video - Blue Tits of South Woodford: Episode 9

The Blue Tits - 1 box, 11 eggs, 8 hatched, 7 died, 1 parnet went missing (presumably to the local Sparrowhawk), rotting bodies in the nest... the odds were stacked against the remaining chick - but look!

episode 10 tomorrow...

May 24th 2010

  • Peregrine (probably), devouring a small bird 6.30pm on 24th May (just before dinner, lovely especially through binoculars!), Clayhall Avenue. (M Scott) = observers notes: (description: blue-grey back, white front and legs, black on its head where it's moustache and sideburns would be if it was human - I've just looked up peregrines and hobbys in my bird book, and I'm pretty sure it was a peregrine; the hobby is darker and has, as my book charmingly calls it, "rusty trousers", whereas my visitor had white trousers!)... ps a Peregreine was also seen in the Wanstead area the same day!
Hainault Forest:
  • Hainault Forest CP: 12 Blackbirds, 2 Song Thrush, 11 Wrens, 2 Dunnocks, 8 Robins, 6 Chaffinches, 6 Great Tits, 2 Blue Tits, 14m Blackcaps, 2m Chiffchaff, 2m Garden Warbler, 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 50 Canada Geese + 4 broods, 4 Coot, 15 Mallard, Mute Swan, 5 Moorhen + brood, 12 Carrion Crows, 9 Magpie, 8 Jackdaws, Jay (CIS)

South Woodford: - Blue Tits

  • Just to let you know that the 1 remaining chick was desperately trying to get out of the nest hole this morning. Lots of failed attempts and flapping of wings. The parent was outside calling to it (I think) - presumably encouraging it to leave. It was calling back and now has the classic blue tit vocals. Not long now.... (PGordon)

Valentines Park:

  • Great Crested Grebes nest, Valentines Park: When I saw them yesterday inthe late afternoon, all was well and I saw the 4 eggs still in the nest whenthe pair of Grebes did their "change-over"- but when I went along there in the early afternoon today I was devastated to see a deserted nest- with no sign of eggs or birds. They are not having much luck!
  • Re. the swans: I took a closer look at the remaining egg in the nest, andrather than being a used one it looks as if it just did not hatch- so they must have laid 9 eggs rather than the 7 the park representative thought. (Gillian Ware)

Wanstead Flats:

  • Peregrine swooping over Bush Wood flats (PSaunders)

Connaught Water: (just outside the borough)

  • Pair Egyptian Geese (where are they suddenly coming from ?)
  • Swan family
  • Tufted duck appear to be pairing off – much posing from males with the odd fracas,
  • Mandarin male but no females that I saw
  • 1 lone Great Crested Grebe
  • 1 pair hybrid pale Mallard (PWarne)

Pics - May 2010

Connaughgt Water, just outside the borough (PWarne)
1. Egyptian Goose
2. Mute Swan fambly

3. pair of Hybrid Mallards - one of them cleverly perched upsidedown!!

Video - Hobby over South Woodford

(PGordon - 23rd May)

Pics - May 2010

Valentines Park Swans (click here for more pics of them)
(Gillian Ware)

The Barnacle Goose, near Long Water in Valentines Park yesterday (Mike Condon)

May 23, 2010

May 23rd 2010

Hainault, Greenwoods Gardens:
  • 2 Swifts (DEH)
Collier Row, Five Oaks Lake:
  • Enormous scrub area south of 5 Oaks Lane (possibly Cold Blow Farm?) - I never know about this place until today!
  • Cuckoo calling
  • 100+ Starlings makin a right racket!
  • Pheasant
  • 17+ Whitethroat (probably loads more), 5 singing Willow Warbler, Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff
  • singing Nightingale
  • yay, finally found a stronghold in the borough, of... 4 singing Yellowhammer
  • 2 male Reed Bunting
  • and an owl pellet of some description
  • 3 Linnet loads of singing Chaffinches
  • singing Goldcrest
  • Blue Tits, Great Tit, Jay, Carrion Crow, 2 Jackdaw, Jay, Wood Pigeons, House Sparrow, (DEH)

Ilford, garden:

  • Have just read comment by Barbara J about greenfinches in her garden. I live just around the corner from Barbara, and I've been hearing a lot of greenfinches in the past week, which is unusual. (MSevoir)

South Woodford:

  • House martin (PGordon)

Valentines Park:

  • Little Grebe on the Boating Lake:
  • 3 Great Crested Grebes, including 1 still on nest
  • 2 Cormorant (1 on Boating Lake, another over)
  • family of 5 Grey Herons
  • Family of Mute Swans on the baoting lake with 8 cygnets now all hatched. 2nd non-nesting pair on the fiah lake.
  • 1 Greylag Goose (crossbred), many Canada Geese, 1 (presumably feral) Barnacle Goose on the west side of Long Water, feeding with the Canadians
  • 2 Egpytian Geese
  • Mallards, Tufted Duck, Coot, Moorhen
  • 1 pair of Pochard on the boating lake
  • 2 Black Headed Gulls
  • Feral Pigeons, Wood Pigeons, 2 Collared Dove,
  • 12 Swift
  • Green Woodpecker
  • Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Blackbird,
  • 2 male (singing) Blackcap,
  • Great Tit, 2 Long Tailed Tit, Blue Tit
  • Magpie, Carrion Crow, Starlings (almost every tree and field were filled with buzzing starlings,
  • 8 House Sparrow,
  • 4 Chaffinch, 4 Greenfinch (Mike Condon/Gillian Ware)
  • Hobby at 7.10am
  • 3 Stock Dove
  • 2 singing Goldcrest! (Peter Hopkins)

Wanstead Flats:

  • Buzzard over at 12.20 from Forest Gate (Anita Daruvala)
  • many Canada Goose families on Alexandra Lake
  • 4 patrolling Lesser Black Backed Gulls
  • Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (male) taking food to a nest hole!
  • 20 Skylark including 15 singing males!
  • 6 Meadow Pipit including 4 singing males
  • singing male Lesser Whitethroat south of Lakehouse Road
  • c22 Whitethroat
  • 20 House Sparrow (WREN via TH)

Wanstead Park:

  • 3 Broods of Swans: Shoulder of Mutton - 7 cygnets, Heronry - 4 cygnets and Ornamental -8 cygnets)
  • Canada Goose family, Mallards,
  • 2 Little Grebe including 1 on a nest on Heronry Pond, 3 Great Crested Grebe (2 on Perch Pond and 1 on Ornamental)
  • Cormorant on Ornamental and lots overhead
  • Coots and Moorhens a plenty
  • Kestrel hunting on the plain
  • Little Egret on the Roding by the Old Sewage Works
  • Stock Dove, Ring Necked parakeet, Swift (good number),
  • Kingfisher on the Roding, just East of Ornamental Waters
  • Lesser Spotted Woodpecker near the Temple, Green Woodpecker and Great Spotted Woodpecker
  • Wren, Dunnock, RObin, Blackbird, Song Thrush,
  • many singing Blackcap (plus females), c10 Chiffchaff,
  • 2 Family Parties of Long Tailed Tit
  • Blue Tits, great Tits
  • Jay with young, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow,
  • 4 House Sparrow on the Plain, Chaffinch, Greenfinch (WREN via TH)

Woodford Green, garden:

  • sky watch from the garden
  • 1 Kestrel. 1 Sparrowhawk
  • 2 Buzzard, 1 drifting high & East (11.30) & presumably a 2nd bird south(16.10)
  • 1 Common Tern
  • 1 Hobby
  • 1 Little Egret (Tony Brown)

May 22, 2010

May 22nd 2010

Roding Valley Park, north:
  • 2 broods of Mallard (2 and 4 ducklings)
  • 3 Stock Dove
  • 2 Great SPotted Woodpecker
  • 2 singing Song Thrush
  • 7 Whitethroat, 7 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff (DEH)
Wanstead, Windsor Road:
  • 4 Buzzards (over) (JLethbridge)

Pics - May 2010

21st May 2010 - the cygnets hatched at Valentines Park - click swan pic below for more pics..

male Mandarin, Connaught Water (just outside the borough) (Peter Warne)

Hobby over South Woodford (Peter Gordon)

May 21, 2010

May 21st 2010

Fairlop Gravel Works:
  • lots of broods of Canada Geese
  • 2 pairs of Mute Swan, neither are breeding
  • pr Great Crested Grebe and at least 3 Little Grebe (north side)
  • 2 Shelduck, 25 Tufted Duck, 4 Gadwall (2prs), male Shoveler
  • Mallard with 5 ducklings (north side)
  • Coot with 3 chicks (north side)
  • 2 Grey Heron
  • Stock Dove
  • 8 Lapwing (i located 1 nest, with 4 eggs in)
  • 4 Little Ringed Plover (2 pairs), Redshank
  • 4 Swallow, 4 House Martin
  • pr Yellow Wagtail (south side), feeding together
  • 3 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 3 singing Sedge Warbler, 5 Reed Warbler (including 3 singing males) all on the north side
  • 2 Linnet
  • 2 male Reed Bunting (DEH)

Fairlop, Aldborough Riding School:

  • Little Owl in the usual tree 7.30pm (DEH)

Valentines Park:

  • Most of the swan's eggs on the island on the Boating Lake, Valentines Park hatched today. I happened to pass, and there were the cygnets- certainly 4 and possibly 5. While I was there, one of the Park representatives came by and she reckoned she saw 5 heads- there were 7 eggs, and the Pen was still sitting. (Gillian Ware)
  • for photos - click:

Wanstead Flats:

  • 7 singing Whitethroats (SSSI)
  • 1 singing Reed Bunting (SSSI)
  • 3 singing Meadow Pipits (east of Centre Road)
  • 15+ Skylarks (SSSI and east of Centre Road)
  • Kestrel (Capel Road) (THarris)

Wanstead Park:

  • Pr of Swans with 4 cygnets on Ornamental
  • pr of Swans with 8 on Heronry
  • Mallard brood with 9 chicks on Ornamental (Sally Hammond)

Wanstead, Northumblerland Avenue:

  • White-cheeked Turaco (escaped) in Northumberland Avenue garden again, 21 May (J Charter)

Pics - May 2010

The famous Grey Herons, Valentines Park (Ornamental Lake) - pics by Gillian Ware

May 20, 2010

May 20th 2010

Barkingside, Cravel Gardens:
  • 3 Goldfinches on a TV arial (Tony Leaderman)
Bush Wood:
  • pair of Mistle Thrushes collecting food (presumably for young) on the edge of Bush Wood (THarris)

Fairlop Gravel Works:

  • 4 Mute Swan, 20+ Adult Canada Goose and 9 goslings visible (others still on nests)
  • 18 Mallard, 14 Tufted Duck, 2 Shelduck, 5 Coot, Moorhen
  • Pied Wagtail, 1 Yellow Wagtail (heard)
  • 2 Grey Heron, 6+ Lapwing, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Redshank
  • 2 Swallow
  • 2 Stock Dove,
  • 5 Magpie, many Carrion Crows and LEsser Black backed Gulls
  • Linnet (DEH)

Ilford, garden:

  • female Sparrowhawk through the garden (Barbara J)

South Woodford, garden:

  • YOUR HELP NEEDED: The 1 remaining Blure Tit chick is still going strong. The mum is calling a lot around in the garden - whether she's trying to get the father back or trying to attract another male I don't know. Anyway, some flies are starting to show interest in the nest (presumably because of the dead chicks that are in the box) and I was wondering whether I should take the dead bodies out to avoid disease. What do you all think? Please leave your oppinions/suggestions in the comments box on todays entry... I am worried about causing unnecessary upset but they will start decomposing soon - although I've no idea how long it takes. (PGordon)
  • Hobby (over, pm) (PGordon)

Wanstead Park:

  • Reed Warbler singing by Shoulder of Mutton Pond (PFerris)
  • 3 Great Crested Grebes (2 on perch Pond, 1 on Heronry)
  • family of 7 Long Tailed Tits (fledged) in the Old Sewage Works (THarris)

Barking Park: (just outside the borough)

  • 178 Carrion Crow, family Mistle Thrush, 3pr Stock Dove, Great Crested Grebe nest (HV)

Chingwell, Pudding Lane: (just outside the borough)

  • pr Little Owl (8pm)

Leytonstone, Station: (just outside the borough)

  • Buzzard (over) (Gary James)

Pics - May 2010

The Great Crested Grebe Nest, Valentines Park (Boating Lake) - pics by Gillian Ware

Pics - May 2010

Garden Birds - Peter Warne (Woodford Green)
male Greenfinch
baby Robin


May 19, 2010

May 19th 2010

Aldersbrook, Empress Avenue:
  • 9 Ring Necked Parakeet over this evening (flock of 8, and another loner) (SHammond)

Collier Row, Cold Blow Farm:

  • 2 Whitethroat
  • 3 Swallow
  • Skylark (singing)
  • Chaffinch (DEH)

Collier Row, Car Boot Field:

  • 64 Wood Pigeon
  • 55 Starling, 4 Carrion Crow, Magpie
  • Blackbird, Song Thrush, 2 Chaffinch
  • 3 Blackcap
  • 5 Skylark (4 singing)
  • 17 Linnet (DEH)

Fairlop Waters:

  • Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swans,
  • Canada geese including 2 broods (10 and 5 goslings), Greylag Geese with 8 goslings
  • pr of Gadwall, Mallrd with ducklings, Tufted Ducks, Coot, Morohens
  • Feral Pigeons, Woodpigeons, Colalred Doves
  • Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush
  • 2 Lesser Whitethroat displaying
  • 7 Chiffchaff
  • Blue Tit, great Tit, Greenfinch, Chaffinch,
  • Reed Bunting (U3A walk)

Ilford, garden:

  • There seems to have been a Greenfinch explosion here. Hardly been any in the garden all year and now there are 5 at once on the feeder and a constant noise in the trees around. I noticed someone else had seen the same thing - wondered if its a general spring movement? (BarbaraJ)

South Woodford, garden:

  • remaining Blue Tit chick is still alive after losing all its siblings yesterday...
  • Cormorant (over) (pGordon)
Wanstead Flats:
  • Twenty-one Canada Geese goslings with this pair; now that's impressive! I guess it must be a creche, but these are quite young for that, apparently the same age and with no other interested possible parents nearby. These were by Alexandra Lake. Incidentally, the Lesser Black-backs are patrolling Alexandra Lake and the Shoulder of Mutton Pond quite frequently, and with a lot of attacks on - particularly - cootlets. Looking at the small numbers of surviving goslings attached to some pairs of geese on Alexandra Lake, I suspect that these too are falling prey to predators. There are and for long have been foxes around, of course, but in my perception the Lesser Black-backs are a new addition. In previous years, the Conservators of Epping Forest have culled the geese, but did not do so this year. Perhaps we are now seeing a more natural culling taking place. Let us hope that species such as Little Grebe fare better than the geese, Coots and, doubtless, Mallard. (PFerris)
  • Wanstead Flats 07:00-11:00: So little going on I counted things; 100 Carrion Crow on playing fields west of Alex pond, 40 Cormorant, 6 Lesser Black-Backed Gull (the coots survived today),
  • 3 Ring Necked Parakeet,
  • 3 Swallow,
  • couldn't count the Starlings they were so numerous,
  • 1 Grey Heron (no trouble there!),
  • 1 Stock Dove,
  • 5 singing Meadow Pipits,
  • 1 female Kestrel and other stuff.
  • Yesterday someone emptied a bucket load of ornamental fish into the Alex... (Nick Croft)
  • Turtle Dove (heard) purring from the copse nr Long Wood (JLethbridge)

Wanstead Park:

  • Reed Warbler singing by Shoulder of Mutton Pond again. (JCharter)

Woodford Green, garden:

  • At least 2 breeding pairs Jackdaws hovering up all food and around 14 fledged yesterday
    On a brighter note;
  • 2 families of house sparrows (absent for the last 5 years at least)
  • Both nesting boxes have breeding blue tits (usually only one facility gets occupied if at all)
    We have a local pair GSWP and suspicions they are breeding nearby (will look out for young)
  • Greenfinches in abundance
  • Pair of dunnock have reared family
  • Robins have bred and juv pic is attached
  • Great tits are breeding and beginning to look very ragged
  • Blackcap pair visit early morning but disappear around 9am
  • Goldfinches (2-3 at a time) are daily visitors
  • And finally, the swifts have returned to our roof. (PWarne)

Video - Blue Tits of South Woodford: Episode 8

since this Video - tragedy has hit the residents of South Woodford, and as of this morning only 1 parent and 1 chick are still around... more to come..

Pics - May 2010

The 3 Grey Heron chicks, Valentines Park (Alex Blackman)
The Canada Goose pair 'with' 21 goslings, (Alexandra Lake, Wanstead Flats)
(Paul Ferris)

May 18, 2010

Video - Blue Tits of South Woodford: Episode 7

The Blue Tits family are doing well, at least 7 young are still present and frantically being fed...

(next episode tomorrow)

May 18th 2010

Aldersbrook, Empress Avenue:
  • 5 Ring Necked Parakeets (over) (Sally Hammond)

Fairlop Waters:

  • Mute Swan still on nest on the lagoon, mate nearby, (3 other Swans around)
  • 4 Canada Goose Broods (10, 8, 5, and 5)
  • 2 Greylag Goose Broods (9 and 1)
  • pr Gadwall (Boating Lake), several Tufted Duck, male Shoveler (Scrape)
  • Coot still nest building on the Scrape
  • Coot brood on the Golf course pond (with 5 chicks)
  • 3 Great Crested Grebes (2 Fishing Lake, 1 Boating Lake)
  • 1 Grey Heron (over)
  • 5 Stock Dove
  • 40 Swift, 6 Swallow, 7 House Martin (most House Martin seen so far this year)
  • 5 Skylark
  • 5 Pheasant
  • 2 Green Woodpecker
  • 11 Whitethroat, 2+ Blackcap, 3 Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff
  • 2 Linnet, 2 Goldfinch, 3 Greenfinch, many singing Chaffinch
  • party of 25+ Long Tailed Tits!
  • family of Reed Buntings with 5 fledgelings (and rival Male present)

Ray Park:

  • 2 Linnet (pair) - the male was a beauty with his crimson patches on chest and forehead
  • 12 Goldfinch, 1 Greenfinch,
  • 20+ starlings
  • 2 Mistle Thrush, 2 Song thrush (1 heard outside James Leal Centre)
  • Little Egret over JLC pm (TLachhar)

South Woodford:

  • SAD NEWS - re: the Blue Tits of South Woodford. Only 1 is currently still alive. It seems as if the male has gone missing, perhaps the female is struggling to feed them all alone, or perhaps they have caught a disease? (PGordon)

South Park:

  • 2 Mute Swan, c100 Canada Geese,
  • Cormorant
  • 2 Great Crested Grebe
  • Mallards, Coots, Moorhen, c20 Tufted Duck
  • c30 Starling,
  • 15 Blackbird, 3 Mistle Thrush
  • 2 Magpie, 2 Carrion Crow, 20 Wood Pigeon, 50 Feral Pigeon
  • Robin?? It flew onto the railings outside the public convenience and sat for a couple of seconds with its back to me. I had just put the binoculars away as I was leaving the park. I assume it was a female, whatever it was, as it flew into the Ladies! (MSevoir)

Wanstead Flats:

  • 2 Lapwing over (7am) (JLethbridge)
  • Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker,
  • Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel,
  • loads of Mistle Thrushes,
  • House Martin,
  • Canada Goose (1 pair with 20 gossers in 'nursery'),
  • c.12+ Long Tailed Tit family,
  • Linnet, Reed Bunting etc.
  • Coot update (pair with 6 new targets on Alex, and pair with 4 gull snacks on Jubilee),
  • 5 Cormorant over,
  • possible White Wagtail (small pond - JL not so convinced) other deffo Pied Wagtail (Nick Croft)

Wanstead Park:

  • no sign (or sound) of Reed Warbler pm, but there was a Kingfisher up the Roding (THarris)

Valentines Park:

  • 3 Grey Heron Chicks unguarded for at least 30 mins at 5pm
  • singing Goldcrest (DEH)

May 17, 2010

Pics - May 2010

Lapwing over Wanstead Flats 18th May (JLethbridge)

Wood Pigeons in South Woodford: Oi, this is my patch! scoot!

The Blue Tits of South Woodford - yum that looks tasty!

ps - new Blur Tits of South Woodford Videos coming tomorrow.....

Of the 11 eggs that hatched at least 7 young are still alive and being fed frantically...

(Pics by PGordon)

May 17th 2010

Claybury Park:
  • pair of Blackcap around nest in scrub
  • 2 Wren, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush
  • Chiffchaff
  • Chaffinch (TLachhar)
Fairlop Gravel Works:
  • 3 Mute Swan (non breeding)
  • 3 broods of Canada Geese have hatched on the south side (5 still on nests) (broods of 6, 4 and 4)
  • Brood of 3 Mallards with mother
  • 1 female Pochard (south) and male on the north, with a male Shoveler
  • pair of Shelduck still present
  • 10 Lapwing, not sure how many breeding pairs, and i couldnt locate any Little Ringed Plovers tonight - but it was 8.30pm..
  • Redshank still present (only 1 visible, calling...)
  • male Yellow Wagtail by the main gates.
  • Stock Dove (over)
  • north side: 3 singing Reed Warbler and a 4th non singing! and 2 singing Sedge Warbler
  • 2 Song Thrush in song
  • Grey Heron over (DEHull)
Wanstead Park:
  • Reed Warbler singing in the Old Sewage Works area (JLethbridge), also hoeard ny Tim Harris (bank of the roding)
  • Another Reed Warbler (or the same one?) at Shoulder of Mutton Pond singing enthusiastically from 10.30am for 2 hours at least. (PFerris)
  • Sadly only 6 (of the 8) cygnets on Ornamental tonight.
  • Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch (over)
  • Also...Jay, Cormorant, Wood pigeon, Jackdaws, Coots
  • Ring Necked Parakeets
  • Canada geese and goslings
  • Willow warbler heard, Chiffchaff heard
  • Long tailed tits, Great tits, Blue tit
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker,
  • Swifts
  • Blackbird, Song Thrush, Magpies, Carrion Crow, Starlings
  • Mallards (Sally Hammond)
  • 2 Great Crested Grebe on Perch Pond
  • Willow Warbler singing north of the Dell
  • 2 Little Egret, 1 on the Roding, 1 over Heronry Pond (THarris)

Wanstead Flats:

  • at least 30 Canada Goslings at Alexandra lake (THarris)

Pics - May 2010

The Mute Swan family on Shoulder of Mutton Pond, Wanstead Park (Kathy Hartnett)
And another Angle (Sally Hammond)

The un-manned Grey Heron Chicks (Ian Cranston) - Valentines Park

and manned again... (Alex Blackman)

May 16, 2010

May 16th 2010

Collier Row, Forest Farm:
  • (the car boot field)
  • male Yellowhammer singing
  • Whitethroat and Skylark singingin surrounding field (Niel Twyford)

Eagle Pond:

  • drake Pochard (THarris)

Forest Farm Community Garden:

  • 3 Whitethroat, Chiffchaff
  • Swift
  • Dunnock
  • pr Linnet (TLachhar)

Valentines Park:

  • Great Crested Grebe still sitting on nest (Boating lake)
  • 1 Cormorant
  • Grey Heron family doing well, although 8.20am - 3 chicks unguarded as adult was driven south over ilford by a single Crow
  • Mute Swan still on nest (cant be long now)
  • Canada Geese, 1 Egyptian Goose
  • Mallard, Tufted Duck, Coot, Moorhen
  • Feral Pigeon, 2 Collared Dove, Woodpigeon
  • 3 Ring Necked Parakeet (9.20am, calling, and very active along west end of cranbrook cut)
  • 8 Swift
  • Green Woodpecker
  • 2 Wren, 3 Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush,
  • Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit
  • Carrion Crow, Magpie, 8 House Sparrow
  • 3 Chaffinch, 2 Greenfinch, 4 Goldfinch along Brisbane Road (Mike Condon)

Wanstead, Lakehouse Estate:

  • Swallow (over) (Tim Harris)

Wanstead Park:

  • Grey heron
  • Ring Necked Parakeets
  • canada geese and goslings
  • willow warbler, whitethroat, blackcaps, chiffchaff
  • long tailed tit, blue tits, gteat tits,
  • great spotted woodpecker, green woodpecker
  • wrens
  • swifts
  • blackbird, song thrush
  • magpies, carrion crows, starling
  • mistle thrush
  • mallards with ducklings - at least 3 families
  • mute swans with cygnets (2 families) - swan still at/on nest has at least 6
  • moorhen (Sally Hammond)
  • Mute Swan on Shoulder of Mutton have 7 cygnets (Kathy Hartnett)
  • 3 Great Crested Grebes (2 on Perch Pond, and a 3rd on Heronry)
  • 2 Sand Martins feeding over Heronry (THarris)

Pics - May 2010

Wanstead Park Photos - 14th May (Sally Hammond)

And, the Little Egret by the Roding in Wanstead Park (JLethbridge)