Saturday sightings

Pete Lambert wrote yesterday:

More typical October passage this morning.

Some jackdaws: One NW over Wild Marsh East at 8.20am, 15 high W over WMWest at 8.30, one S over WMEast at 9.12, 4 high E over WMWest at 9.41 and 4 high SE over WMWest at 9.46 (same as earlier ones?)

Siskins: one calling over WMEast at 8.18, another calling over the towpath at 9.43 – neither seen.

11 redwing S over WMWest at 9.06 and skylark calling over WMWest at 9.23 – not seen.

Also 3 fieldfares in the trees north of Pond which flew off west and ring-necked parakeet heard calling again at Clendish Marsh – again not seen. Finally the unusual sight of 4 shoveler flying high SE over WMWest (towards the Lockwood Res) at 9.45. Still no stonechats.


Latest Sightings – Tuesday 26th

Peter Lambert wrote today:

Back to Tottenham Marsh today to find autumn passage still in operation. One brambling calling over WM East at 7.45 which I didn’t see, then a second over Clendish Marsh at 8.25 which I did see, although not close enough to see any plumage details. (Terry saw a female brambling along the Navigation Towpath on 20 Oct.). Also my first fieldfares of the autumn, groups of 8, then 6, then 23 all going west calling but then a group of 3 came down to the trees just north of the pond. One or two redwings going west calling as well and 2 siskins south over Clendish Marsh Car Park at 8.05. But where are the stonechats???? Usually see these from mid-Sept. I’ve still not seen any, and there don’t seem to be any resident ones anywhere.

Finally, the 2 egyptian geese (Little and Large) are gone and either a single is back or it’s “Large” and “Little” has left him/her.


Saturday Stonechat

While out on Simon Whiteman’s ‘Walk and Talk’ on Saturday, our party spotted a male stonechat, showing well on Wild Marsh East. He was to the right of the path, by the Lea diversion, about half way up from green bridge. My first of this year and a much less common sight on the marshes than the previous few years.

Not much else about. One Grey wag, little egret by relief channel and a large flock of starlings forming over the gasometer.


FoTM October Bird Survey

On arrival at the Waterside Centre
at the start of the survey, it has become a common occurence to see the Egyptian geese that have taken a liking to the shiny pump by the canal edge (these two are the Little & Large referred to by Pete!).

Not sure if they are admiring themselves, or think they have found some more friends.
There have been easterly winds bringing in some new birds.
Here are some totals that David Cottridge added up at the end of the survey:-

Skylark 34
Meadow Pipit 7
Robin 54
Redwing 19
Fieldfare 3
Linnet 3
Goldcrest 1
Siskin 2
Brambling 9
Reed bunting 2
Common Sandpiper 2

There seemed to be robins everywhere – numbers probably boosted by some shyer continental visitors.

Just to show we do look at other wildlife on the marsh, here is a photo of a black lipped snail

Last few Days on the Marshes

Lots of bird movement at the moment. Pete Lambert gives a report of his sightings of the last few days:

Thursday 7 October.
Short walk round Wild Marsh East and up and down towpath produced my largest ever movement of jackdaws.
7.58 27 jackdaws SW calling over houses east of Marsh and on
8.12 About 45 jackdaws S over WMEast
8.17 26 jackdaws S over WME
8.24 27 jackdaws S over WME
(Total of 125 in 30 minutes!)
9.23 5 jackdaws SW WME
9.38 11 jackdaws SW over houses east of WME
9.45 33 jackdaws SW over houses and Lockwood Res and on to Marsh.
Total of 174.
Otherwise 3 little egrets in channel at East Bridge, WMEast, 4 little grebes on Lee near Chalk Bridge. Lbb gull flew down to Lee Navigation and came up with crab in beak! Had one long claw on RHS of body (crab that is) – mitten crab?

Sat 9 October
While walking round Lockwood Res in morning I had my first redwings of the autumn going W and over WM West. Then flock of about 40 calling redwings came down into trees on WM East (11.25am).

Sun 10 October
Before survey, 2 green sandpipers up from channel east of WM East (from East Bridge), 2 jackdaws W and 2 male pheasants on WM East together – one with white neck ring one with all dark neck. First brambling of autumn calling overhead (not seen) and 2 skylarks west calling.
After survey, first siskin of the autumn E over WM East.

Mon 11 October
7.54am Huge flock of calling jackdaws over houses east of Marsh – estimated about 150 birds! Flew SW over Lockwood Res and then over Tot Marsh in distance.
8.12am About 25 jackdaws SW in same direction. Possibly more birds in total than on Thursday!
Brambling calling again over WME but not seen. 3 redwings W.
At Clendish Marsh 8 skylarks NW at 8.45 calling.
9.17, 6 more skylarks high NW at WMWest (where David Cottridge saw redstart 15min later!)
Crest calling at Lee near firecrest site, but sounded like goldcrest – vanished.
9.45, single redpoll (first of autumn) flew east calling over WME.


Firecrest plus

Peter Lambert wrote today:

Dragged myself out from sick bed for first visit to Marsh for two weeks. Dry when I left but rain started as I entered Wild Marsh East from Walthamstow. 3 little egrets feeding in the channel by East Bridge and chiffchaff calling. Down by west channel to Green Bridge where I met Philip (+ little dog). He said he’d been hoping to see me as he saw a barn owl over West Marsh at 7.05pm yesterday.(!) Also saw pair of stonechats on same Marsh. (Plus a merlin seen at Mansfield Park – near W’m Girling – recently.) Walked with him down to Stonebridge Lock where a grey wagtail flew SW over Lee Nav. Then left him for a walk round Clendish Marsh. Meadow pipit up calling plus dunnock singing were only things of note.

Pair of egyptian geese at Centre (one smaller than other – call them Little & Large). Female blackcap at Stonebridge Wood (north of pond).

By 9.54am, am near Electric Building on WM West when I pick up 2 large falcons over north end. They chase and call, going SE a bit, then go west towards Gasometer where I lose sight of them. One was adult peregrine, other less of a ‘mask’ on face – could have been juv peregrine or some hybrid. Searched Marsh for Philip’s stonechats – no sign of them. Walked south down east towpath from Chalk Bridge seeing 4 little egrets now in channel east. About 10.25, just north of Green Bridge (Next to white boat called Lady Helen) I hear what sounded like singing goldcrest in field maples there. Wait (dry by now) as goldcrests scarce this year at Marsh. Find crest at top of trees but it’s firecrest! First record for Marsh (for me). Vivid black and white eyestripes, kept singing (no end down turn of song, like goldcrest has). Sent out texts but then relocated it in same place -really close views at times, but always inside trees so no good for photo. As it’s my birthday tomorrow, I’ll consider this an early birthday present!