I had been walking across the marsh this morning, not seeing much, but hearing 4 Chiffchaff, when a text came in from Mark P, doyen of Stoke Newington, “Cetti’s Warbler on No.3 reservoir”
I guessed that he had read of Lol and I trying to poach his Peregrines the other day and had decided on this audacious retaliatory strike. Blatantly coming right onto the patch in broad daylight and finding 2011’s first patch Cetti’s Warbler.
I didn’t really have time to pop in and check it out but said I would get over there in the afternoon. Apart from a flyover Siskin and some Winter Thrushes that was my lot for the morning.
I was still pondering getting over to the Reservoirs early afternoon when another text appeared, “Wheatear on the Lockwood” This was getting serious, was there no stopping the man?
I jumped in the car and headed over to Walthamstow only to hear en route that he had found a Dunlin and a Common Sandpiper! I told him I would be there in a few moments but Mark said that he was just about to leave. Funnily enough he was crossing Forest Rd just as I turned into the car park, I nearly got him, but these Hackney boys can really get a move on when they want. (See Mark's kindly donated account below)
The Wheatear was still on the bank, a right cracker, and my earliest ever by four days. The Dunlin was still around too and very confiding but sadly the Common Sandpiper and Cetti’s Warbler were no shows.
I had 7 Goldeneye (1 drake) and a Goosander on the Lockwood, 3 Green Sandpipers and the largest yet flock of Ring-necked Parakeets, eight birds, around the fishing hut on Nos.1/2.
Could this be the beginning of an early Spring? There have been Little Ringed Plovers and Sand Martins in or near London today, can’t be long before we get them too.
On this date: 09 03 08 6 Snipe, 1 Green Sandpiper and a Water Rail were all good at Waterworks N.R. 37 Fieldfare and 6 Redwing on Walthamstow marsh.