Welcome to my birdwatching blog. This blog will contain stories about my bird watching trips, interesting bird news and other tales that may or may not be bird related. I want to make it useful to the avid birder as well as those who may only have a passing interest in bird watching. I enjoy photographing bird life, common and rare through a spotting scope, not that they always sit still long enough for me. Being on the outskirts of North East London, my reports will not only cover my local patch of Redbridge/Waltham Forest, but also dip into deepest Essex, Suffolk, Kent and Norfolk.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Sewardstone Marsh and Cornmill Meadows in a finishing time under 4 hours

Another lovely start to the day and it was either do a slow amble around a couple of the smaller pockets of reserve that are part of the Lea Valley or do the Marathon. Unfortunately I couldn’t find my running shoes  so the hiking boots have it.

Dunnocks. Why can’t every bird behave like a Dunnock? They sit in the open, let you get quite close and don’t mind having their picture taken. I’d take my hat off to them if I had one.

There were a lot of birds singing. Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and a single Willow Warbler. It took me a few minutes to locate the Willow Warbler as it was high up in a willow and unlike the Dunnock, was half hidden behind foliage. Eventually it moved out enough to be seen properly.

Willow Warbler

Sewardstone is usually good for Cuckoos but not today. Not even a call could be heard, maybe in a week or two this will change. Another absent friend is the Nightingale. They are fairly common just up the road in the Holyfield area of Lea Valley and I have seen and heard them here for many years but not in the last two. I don’t know why this has changed, the habitat is no different, a real mystery.

On the other hand, Blackcaps seem to on the increase. they are everywhere this spring. I think I counted 18 singing birds here this morning.

I walked up to Enfield Lock and found a Little Egret and a Kingfisher in the flood channels. I managed a shot of the Egret but the Kingfisher was too far off...needs to talk to the Dunnock.

Little Egret (and Coot)
Had a look for Grey Wagtails but nothing doing, so decided to walk the path towards the Navigation Inn. So many joggers this morning...shouldn’t they be somewhere else today? A Cetti’s Warbler chucked out it’s call – very close. It showed for a few seconds in the brilliant sunshine before disappearing low into the reeds. With the sun in my eyes, I turned heel and headed back the way I’d come. Added a tidy looking Lesser Whitethroat to the list but no chance to photograph it...one day maybe. Still no hirundines to speak of not even a Sand Martin.

I just had time to visit Cornmill Meadows. This was very quiet. Blackcaps aside, there was very little to see or hear/ It wasn’t until I got to the Wake hide that things improved. There were a few Lapwings, Gadwall, Shelduck and Teal on the main pool but the main star was a single Greenshank.

Again, no Yellow Wagtails or Martins but I must be patient. After all, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon

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