Wednesday, 24 March 2010

No Black Red but....

A few singing Chiffchaffs around the marsh today, also a few Little Egrets seen at Walthamstow, including a bird standing on the nesting island. At least 7 Sand Martins around the Lockwood, perhaps a few more passing through. 2 Wheatears and a Green Sandpiper on the West bank and a pair of Goosander flew in from the High Maynard. Another Green Sandpiper in the overflow channel to the North. No sign of the previously reported Black Redstart however. At c16:30 whilst scanning the forest ridge over Woodford, from the bottom of the Lockwood a probable m Goshawk seen briefly. Originally assumed to be a Buzzard, as I had been looking specifically for them in the reasonably good weather but when it flipped over onto its side, it was obviously an Accipiter, it looked greyish, so maybe a male? It was a big bird and had a broad body with deep chest, long necked (compared to Sparrowhawk, which I had seen earlier) broad wings with bulging secondaries and a longer and wider tail. Underparts looked quiet pale at that distance but no real plumage marks visible i.e. supercillium or undertail coverts. It never came up very high and was on show for less than 30 seconds but was clearly an interesting bird. Worth keeping an eye out in the area.
I have edited yesterdays post, as last night I arbitrarily decided to cut out the Middlsex Filter Beds from being part of my Walthamstow patch and also extend the South-eastern boundary along the Dagenham Brook.
M.F.B. are pretty well covered by our friends over at : and despite being a really nice bit of habitat, I think it probably belongs in Middlesex if not Hackney, sadly it loses us Yellow-browed Warbler from the Walthamstow list and personally costs me Firecrest. The upside is that the inclusion of the area West of the Dagenham Brook gains me Tawny Owl....swings and roundabouts I guess.

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