Sunday, 15 May 2011

That's What Friends Are For

I received a text this morning that Pete L had found a Grasshopper Warbler on the Wild Marsh East, during the survey of Tottenham Marsh by The Friends of Tottenham Marshes. WME is of course well and truly part of the patch (plus it’s in E17 and not Tottenham, being the scrubby bit between the Lockwood and Banbury) but we are not ones to quibble here, after all a patch is a personal thing and you can count what you want. I do!

Lol and I had already planned to do the Banbury and maybe the Lockwood but we were easily persuaded to give the Gropper a bash, metaphorically speaking. We bumped into George on the marsh and he was able to narrow down the search area. Apparently the bird had not been singing much since it was found and hadn’t shown at all. A judicious bit of playback soon saw it fly out of cover and drop in near to us, it didn’t sing at all nor did it show again. We decided not to harass the bird so moved on to the Banbury, though Lol said he might pop over there later this evening.

As far as anyone knows this year seems to be fairly unprecedented for local Grasshopper Warblers, with possibly 4 on (or just off but audible from) the patch, though there could be some duplication I suppose, I hope it is a sign of things to come and hope too that some of them managed to attract a mate.

There were no Waders at all on the Banbury, which is currently quite low, but expectations in that area are not always fulfilled. The large group of Terns that were present on Friday had grown and were now numbering at least 60, there were some very Arcticy looking individuals amongst them but they were mostly staying over the far side. Often they bunched up as a tight group and we suspected a Raptor of being the cause, it wasn’t long before Lol spotted a Peregrine which had a prolonged hunting sortie over the reservoir, eventually it caught a large immature Gull but we both missed the catch. All the other Gulls, Terns and Crows didn’t miss it though and gave the Peregrine such a hard time that it dropped the unfortunate creature and after another 10 minutes gave up all together.

As a result some of the Terns moved a bit closer and we were able to confirm 2-3 as Arctic, though there could have been a few more.

On this date: 15 05 94 On Walthamstow Marsh a singing male (Western) Sub-alpine Warbler seen a few times as it clambered around in Hawthorns near the level crossing.

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