Nine of us had a wonderful 2 and a half hour guided walk around Forest Farm on Five Oaks Lane, Chigwell. The hope was that we would have some good sightings of Yellowhammers.
at least 10 Meadow Pipit showed off nicely for us, doing their fancy flight displays.
There were also 4 singing skylarks on site. The surrounding farmland gave us a Pheasant and a few fly over Stock Dove. A Sparrowhawk displayed for us too.
4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers showed well, and a couple of Green Woodpeckers for good measure too. 7 singing Chiffchaffs, and at least 6 singing Song Thrush were great to hear.
Our target bird Yellowhammer did not disappoint, with excellent views, some birds flying to bushes very near where we were standing, and with at least 8 singing males, and 3 females we were all impressed with this colony.
While watching the Yellowhammers (and a lovely male Reed Bunting winging among them), a Red Kite appeared and circled our heads for a good few mins being mobbed by a Carrion Crow
He did not appear to fly off distantly, but probably remained local (2 were seen the previous day at Dagnam Park, nearby). When leaving the Red Kite, we were blessed by a very obliging Little Owl, and a flock of 10 Fieldfare and 5 Redwing were still on site.
On top of the other commoner birds and a few flyovers a great morning was had by all.. and even the text that came in about the Avocet up the road at Fairlop did not tempt us to flee the site as we were haveing such a productive morning... Next month we will be visiting the site again, and hope to be able to ADD: Whinchat, Wheatear, Swallow, House Martin, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Cuckoo and Hobby to that number... make sure you book on!
(pics by Mahinder Bhakar)