February 2011 Bird Survey results

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Thought I’d add this month’s survey results as a blog entry (until the Download facility is available). Despite the dull conditions, some birds were obviously moving into spring mode as their singing and pairing up showed.
Overall, a good variety of birds were seen and West Marsh even had a write in – Coal Tit. Not sure if this was a first for the Marsh?!


February Bird Survey – Clendish area

Despite the rather overcast and damp weather today, we had 3 new FoTM members join us on the bird survey which was excellent.
Pete, Mark and I surveyed the southern most part of Tottenham Marshes. Mark (one of our first timers) brought his DSLR camera and captured the following images which was very impressive given the low light conditions – must have fast reflexes!

Dunnocks were singing well and chasing each other through the bushes.

Pete was surprised to see a Little Grebe near the ramp in the southern part of the channel – an unusual sighting for there. Mark grabbed the photo before Pete and I had even seen the bird.

We saw a small bird flitting along the metal fence on the far side of the channel and it eventually came into the open so we could see it was a Chiffchaff. Nearby, on a bush next to the allotments, our third Goldcrest gave us good views as it searched among the branches.

The part of the channel near the Waterside Centre often has Mallards, Moorhens and Black Headed Gulls but today unusually there were a pair of Teal. So this lovely little duck is the final picture of the day.


Last week on the Marshes

Pete Lambert wrote today:

 Thursday 3 February 2011
Goldcrests seen at WM East and Stonebridge Wood, reed bunting seen at WM East, pair of kestrels displaying around Gasometer at WM West and green sandpiper in channel north of Gas Bridge. Counted 16 singing song thrushes and then at 9.49am two skylarks came low SW over WM East, calling.

Sunday 6 February
Terry saw 12 fieldfare, the green sandpiper at the Gas Bridge and 2 chiffchaff in Stonebridge Wood.

Monday 7 February
I saw 4 gadwall in the channel north of the East Bridge, had a jackdaw fly SW calling and saw 3 fieldfare at Stonebridge Wood.

Friday 11 February
When I got to the Green Bridge, there were 2 female pheasants high in the trees, from roost?  Then a male pheasant (all dark neck) called from west bank of Lee opposite.  Chiffchaffs singing, perhaps five different birds scattered throughout marsh.  Three stock doves flew North over WM West and 3 greylag geese flew South over WM East.  Seventeen song thrush singing today.

Saturday 12 February
Terry saw a small flock of redwing in Stonebridge Wood as well as 2 chiffchaffs.

Sunday 13 February
Terry saw a water rail from the Green Bridge and a reed bunting at WM East.

Monday 14 February
Terry had a Valentine’s Day present of a female red-breasted merganser in the channel north of Sandpiper Bridge with a pair of goosander!  This is only the second record of a merganser on the Marsh, the previous was on 31 January 2009.  Also a little egret in the channel and 3 reed bunting on WM East.

Tuesday 15 February
I saw a lapwing fly SE over WM West and the water rail between the Green and Sandpiper Bridges.  Heard bullfinch calling at Stonebridge Wood and then saw a female bullfinch fly a little way.  This may well be the same bird that was seen before Christmas, as it’s unusual to get more than one record a year at the marsh.  Green sandpiper again from the Gas Bridge and pair of gadwall in channel east of Chalk Bridge.  Finally a shelduck flew south over WM East.  This is my first record on the marsh in 2011, although they’ve been at Walthamstow Reservoir since the end of November.

Latest Sightings on Marshes and Reservior

Pete Lambert wrote:
Friday 28 January 2011
Another cold and cloudy day.  Disturbed a female goosander from just north of the Sandpiper Bridge, then saw a pair of shoveler in the channel as I walked down to Green Bridge, disturbed a little egret and  saw 12 teal.  Female reed bunting on top of tree at Wild Marsh East – these are still quite scarce at the moment.  Standing on Green Bridge checking the edges, I heard a water rail squeel north of me, but I couldn’t find it.  A pheasant shot across the channel to East Marsh but too quickly to see if it was a male or female.  Michael phoned to say he was coming over, so we agreed to meet at Stonebridge Lock  At 8.49am, just north of the Lock, I looked up to see a buzzard soaring west of the Lee Navigation.  May have been west of Clendish Marsh, rather than over the Marsh itself, but I soon lost sight of it, and despite checking the sky couldn’t relocate it for when Michael arrived a few minutes later.  We did find a goldcrest at the Car Park, with perhaps a second one chasing it.

The walk round Clendish Marsh produced very little – a sparrowhawk soaring over Tottenham west of us, and a grey wagtail in Pymmes Brook.  On to Wild Marsh West, where as well as 2 grey wagtails in Pymmes Brook, there was also a female teal feeding north of the Gas Bridge – never seen one there before.  No sign of any green sandpiper there though.  But then, when we walked down the towpath from the Chalk Bridge, a green sandpiper called and flew west – it looked like it went down at Pymmes Brook.  Michael disturbed a little egret at the East Marsh channel and then I left for home.  Walking down the footpath from the Marsh to Blackhorse Lane, I was surprised to hear a curlew call.  Looked across Lockwood Reservoir – nothing.  Then it called again, and this time came up over the bank of the reservoir.  It was flying north, so I stood watching until it flew on and over Wild Marsh East – not often I record a curlew at the Marsh.

Sunday 30 January 2011
I spent the day over Walthamstow Reservoir (where the eider – see attached photo – and the 2 scaup were still present) but from the Banbury Reservoir, I saw a peregrine falcon fly south and then circle over Wild Marsh West.  It flew back north but I lost sight of it.  Maybe one of the pair that have been seen near the Waste Disposal chimney at Angel Road.  Terry sent me an email later to say he’d seen a redpoll at Wild Marsh East that day, which I think is the first record this year, as well as a reed bunting.

Monday 31 January 2011
A bit brighter today and a nice colection of winter visitors seen.  Highlight was my first close view of the water rail this year.  Leaving the Marsh over the Green Bridge at 10am, I searched the edges again for a glimpse of this shy bird, only to find it under my feet, so to speak, pecking around at the bottom of the willow just north east of the bridge.  Also saw a pair of goosander, pair of shoveler, a female gadwall, a green sandpiper and saw one chiffchaff and heard a second singing briefly.  On the non-bird side, I saw my first rabbit of 2011 on WM West.

                                     Eider on Walthamstow Reservoir