Friday, 21 January 2011
Site #1 Leyton Fields & Dagenham Brook
At the very bottom of the patch lies Marsh Lane Fields and Seymour Rd Playing Fields. Originally part of Leyton Marshes one can only wonder what it must have been like before the 20th century, marshy meadows full of Corncrakes probably. Nowadays the fields hold loafing Gulls, Common, Black-headed and Lesser Black-backed mostly but once a nice Mediterranean, also a large number, approaching 100, Carrion Crows which some misguided locals feed. I think they keep the rest of the bird population in the vicinity down, the one time Mistle Thrushes built a nest behind my house a Crow disappeared into their Leylandii home and pulled the sitting bird off the nest and promptly killed it. (Not a Crow fan.)
There are a few smaller birds in the hedgerows and especially along the Dagenham Brook. Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Dunnock, Wren etc. all nest which is amazing to me as my house is less than 200m away and all these species are very scarce.
The Dagenham Brook, which is the Eastern border to the patch has been very good during the last two winters, especially during the snow, no doubt due to the strange smell and oily looking sheen to the water in it never freezes. It has attracted Woodcock, Green Sandpiper and Snipe. Grey Wagtail is often seen and occasionally in the late summer Daubenton’s Bats hunt high above it.
Due to the Olympic Park construction some allotments have been temporarily relocated to the park from Newham, this has led to a small flock of Linnets being seen in the vicinity from time to time, Stock Doves are sometimes found amongst the Feral Rock Doves.