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.

Friday, 16 October 2015

September Review

September was a month spent almost entirely wandering about in the brooms and woods on Wanstead Flats (There are other men doing this who don’t do it for the birds so one has to be careful). It was a special time as the place appeared to become a magnet for our more regular migrants and they didn’t disappoint. Otherwise it was the Lee Valley that took up my time. Need to go further-afield come October!

September 29th 2015 – Chingford Plain/Connaught Water
Chingford Plain is an old haunt of mine with some cracking birds seen in days gone past; Ring Ouzel, Richard’s Pipit, Short-eared Owl to name the few. Today it was nice if not totally unexpected to happen upon a pair of Whinchat – they’re getting everywhere this autumn. Connaught Water was just a bit of fun with trying out a few flight shot tips.

Ring-necked Parakeet


September 26th 2015 – Lee Valley Park
Nice sunny day and a casual walk around the park before volunteer duty at the Bittern Watchpoint.

Carrion Crow



Little Egret and Grey Heron

Greta Crested Grebe

Grey Heron

Long-tailed Tit

Reed Warbler

September 23rd 2015 – Vange Marshes
A life tick for me this day as the rather distant Wilson’s Phalarope didn’t get wind of my imminent arrival and happily kept its distance while my camera desperately tried to focus on a blob.

September 20th 2015 – Lee Valley Park
No birds of any note but my first shot of a dragonfly in flight. Also happened upon a Muntjac which under normal circumstances would have fled into the foliage but this one seemed more intent on eating it’s cover.

Common Darter


Southern Hawker

September 12th 2015 – Lee Valley Park
Another grey day but nice to find a pair of Whinchat on a walk towards the farm.

September 7th 2015 – Sewardstone Marsh
Nasty weather, nothing about but a quick stop off at Sewardstone Marsh before Lee Valley duties down the road. Just a bad shot of a Lesser Whitethroat of any note. Moving on...

September 2nd 2015 – Wanstead Flats
Spent most of the time staring at a bush waiting for the Wryneck to show off. Didn’t happen. Saw it fly from one bush to another on a few occasions but no shots unless you like shots of bushes.

Had to make do with Spotted Flycatchers instead.

September 1st 2015 – Wanstead Flats

I have to admit that I’m lost on the flats. Luckily there are guys there who religiously patrol the site recording bird sightings and of this band, a few are usually about to help direct lost souls like me towards the best spots for the birds that are about. There were a few of them quartering the 'Enclosure' area and they roll-called the latest sightings for me. There were loads of Spotted Flycatchers flitting about and a few Chiffchaffs. I caught the tail end of a female Pied Flycatcher as I arrived but failed to pick it up again. A smart male Common Redstart played ball and that was amazing. Amazing because for the next couple of hours, I didn’t see it again.

Common Redstart

Green Woodpecker

Common Kestrel

Spotted Flycatcher


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