Having said that, the species are ticking over slowly. Obviously I would like to bag at least 20 new species a month to realistically reach that score and the arrival of spring has helped boost my total. Just by snatching a couple of hours here and there, before work, after work, en route to somewhere and by just looking up sometimes has got me the majority of the common spring migrants. At Wanstead Flats a Wheatear and a Whinchat. Common Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and Blackcap at Lee Valley and Lesser Whitethroat, Swallow and Common Terns at Gunners Park, near Southend.
There are also quite a few Swifts, Sand Martins and House Martins in the area now along with at least six difficult-to-see Nightingales in the Lee Valley Park at Fishers Green.
|Female Wheatear at Wanstead Flats|
|Male Whinchat also at Wanstead Flats|
|Common Whitethroat at Gunners Park|
|Corn Bunting at South Fambridge|
Apart from the excitement of the incoming migrants, I had some anxiety about some of the common species that seemed to have eluded me this year. The most startling has been the Green Woodpecker which I have heard on many occasions but have failed to locate and see. It has now been added to the seen list with much relief this weekend and the point is, be patient. The common species always get seen eventually, it’s the stop-off species that need the most planning. So now I must start thinking about Kent, Suffolk, Surrey and Norfolk more seriously if the 200 is to be achieved.
|Green Woodpecker, Lee Valley|
|Nightingale at Lee Valley|