Thursday, 17 September 2015

Fancy a Chat

A window of opportunity both in weather and health and a self-prescribed visit to the Waterworks that provides potential of something interesting without the need for physical exertion - which currently - I am unable to extract from this ailing body. Yet there is hope, and today the sun was out, a light cool breeze, and life once again felt real.

There was evidence of visible migration with at least 25 Swallow powering over, moving through in small pulses with around 30 House Martin and roughly the same number of Sand Martin.

I had bumped into @leevalleybirder, and we wandered through the reserve. Evidence of grounded migrants weren't obvious, but a single Common Whitethroat was welcome as we attached ourselves to the wooden fence staring expectantly into the sky. First up, a chat flew across the treeline and settled on top of one of the Poplars - a Whinchat, joined then by a second what looked like an adult and a juvenile.

A Cetti's Warbler called from somewhere deep within the reeds, and a Chiffchaff flitted within one of the bushes where a family party of Greenfinch were vocal and flighty.

A Willow Warbler then flew across onto the top of a tree now bereft of leaves. The Whinchat settled in the same tree having moved from where it was first located. Peculiarly, these were then replaced by a Spotted Flycatcher that briefly sallied for insects before disappearing altogether.

Two vocal Meadow Pipit flew north. A Kingfisher was heard flying somewhere within the Waterworks but out of view and a distant Sparrowhawk was being mobbed my corvids.

Having then been beset by a school party and Lee Valley staff carrying out more works, we headed out to the Pitch and Putt. It was generally quiet here, but for the first Stonechat of the autumn that finally settled long enough for a quick pose.

A lethargic wander round was completed with a single flyover Siskin.

This stunning Migrant Hawker was captured sunnying itself on a Bramble.


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