Thursday, 15 December 2011

Site #9 Banbury reservoir & the Wild Marsh

We have reached the top of the patch, North of the Lockwood reservoir is the Wild Marsh East, sometimes viewed as part of Tottenham marshes it is actually firmly in Essex and therefore part of the Walthamstow patch. Formerly a grazing field it has hosted such delights as Yellowhammer and Great Grey Shrike and when waterlogged Redshank, now it is a bit more manicured and has much more extensively wooded edges. It still has its specialities though and is the best area on patch for Garden Warbler, Bullfinch and Firecrest, the last two still quite rare. This year it held a summering Grasshopper Warbler and Pheasants are frequently heard, and occasionally seen on here. Access is from Sinnott Rd and Sandpiper Close E17 or from Tottenham marshes via a footbridge over the Lea.

To the East are some allotments and a new housing estate, previously the site of breeding Grey Partridges, sadly now very unlikely to reoccur on patch. Pheasants are often seen here and it was also the site of the Dusky Warbler of 2010 which also got alongside the overflow channel which runs North. The channel is a reliable site for Green Sandpipers and occasionally other Waders. Further North the channel becomes deeper and sometimes holds Goosander in Winter, though these tend to be mobile getting anywhere between the Southern reservoirs and right up to Chingford.

The Banbury is the Northernmost of the Walthamstow complex, the William Girling and King George V being North of the North Circular and therefore in Chingford. Access is nowadays restricted to keyholding WEBS counters but much of the reservoir can be seen from Banbury Rd. Anything large should be seen with patience. Previous scarcities include Common Scoter, Sabine’s Gull, Brent Goose, Little Tern etc. in fact this is the most favoured reservoir of the group for Sea Duck and other Sea Birds.

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