Med Gull and other sightings

Pete Lambert Wrote yesterday:

Tuesday 29 November 2011 and very blustery, so most of birds out of sight.  But at 9.10am I arrived at the Chalk Bridge (crossing the Lee Navigation at the north end of the Marshes) where as usual I checked the gulls sitting on the roof just NE of the Bridge, at the Bus Garage.  Most mornings there are a group of Black-headed Gulls standing here, although sometimes one or two Common Gulls join them.  Today though, the most right hand bird was a Mediterranean Gull!  Looked like a full adult, although I couldn’t see the tips of the primaries clearly enough to be sure it wasn’t a 2nd winter bird.  The only other record I have of Mediterranean gull was in 1996 when another adult flew along the west edge of the Lockwood Res and on north over the East Marsh.  This also made my 100th bird for the year seen at the Marshes.  Photos attached are rather indistinct, but you can see the thick bill of the bird (the last one on the right), and the extensive black “shawl” behind the eye.  Through the bins the primaries appeared all white (2nd winter birds show variable amounts of black in the wing tip).

Apart from that, Kingfisher at Pymmes Brook from bridge to Northumberland Park, Jackdaw SW over Stonebridge Lock calling, 2 Teal in west channel at East marsh, Goldcrests calling at Stonebridge Wood and Chiffchaff calling at East Marsh.


Click on Pic to enlarge

Terrapin from back river

This chap keeps appearing on a branch on the back river. Just inside the Gate to the moorings. Is quite shy but likes to take the air on a sunny day. Think it is one that we used to see in the canal a few years ago.

Latest Sightings

Pete Lambert wrote yesterday:

 Saw a female Bullfinch at East Marsh this morning (24 Nov 2011) which together with hearing one call in three places last week and seeing two males earlier in the month leads me to think there may be three Bullfinch wintering on the Marshes – always difficult to see though.  Saw Water Rail just north of Green Bridge as well as two Little Grebes there, which together with the four Little Grebes on the Navigation itself made a total of six.  22 Fieldfare up from Stonebridge Wood and then off West calling.  Kingfisher on the concrete at Pymmes Brook at Clendish marsh and one (a second?) on the concrete edge of channel north of East Bridge late.  Only one calling Chiffchaff, although there may be more south of Clendish Marsh, a favourite habitat for them and a part of the Marshes that I only visit on survey days.  Last Friday Terry and I saw a Snipe feeding in the channel north of the East Bridge, my first Snipe on the Marshes this year.


October 2011 Bird Survey Results & Photos

[Note: Click on an image to enlarge it. Click again to zoom in further. See blog entry for Dec 2010 to see the named areas on aerial maps.]

A glorious day for the Bird Survey given we were in the third week of October – starting out with frost on the ground and developing into a cloudless blue sky with a warm sun (warm enough for dragonflies).

Our Egyptian geese were outside the Waterside Centre to greet us (I’m always disappointed if they are not!) and our three groups set off to the three survey areas.

In the West area, we saw some of our arriving winter thrushes – a large flock of Fieldfares flew over and some Redwings were also spotted going over. We searched for Stonechat hoping we might get some overwintering with us this year but none were found.

However, we did find two Reed Buntings, one male and one female.

At the very end I heard a Buzzard call twice but couldn’t see it. A Buzzard was seen at nearby Walthamstow Reservoirs that morning so there was definitely one in the area.

Chamara Sugathsiri carried his camera on the survey and kindly provided these photos from the morning.


Latest Sightings

Pete Lambert wrote today:

Lovely morning for a walk over Tottenham Marshes and a spectacular passage of Wood Pigeons.  Saw my first group of about 40 flying SW as I started to walk towards the East Marsh at 7.05am and this continued up to 7.37am with groups of 170,510,920,80,710,310,550,300,30,80,210,50 and finally 70.  If I’ve not counted badly that’s 4,030 in 24 minutes!  (And how many did I miss before 7.05am?)

Tantalising glimpse of a Bunting flying NE over E Marsh whose call was a bit like a Yellowhammer but couldn’t be sure enough for such a rare bird here.  Made up a minute later with a Bullfinch calling from the trees and saw male there, catching up with Terry and George both seeing Bullfinch here recently.  Mistle thrush west and Ring-necked Parakeets are all scarce for Marshes, then I saw two different Water Rails at the channel near the old Sparrowhawk nest site (my first water rails of the autumn).  Redpoll, skylark, fieldfare and Redwing all calling overhead, plus 3 Jackdaws seen at 3 different times.  First, 3 SE over Clendish Marsh, then 3 SW over Clendish Marsh, later 3 NE over West Marsh – maybe all the same three birds.  Only one Chiffchaff at Stonebridge Wood, my first since mid October.  But Terry still has the best of recent sightings with a Short-eared Owl being chased by crows.