Sunday, 6 October 2019

If Calsberg did Record Shots

You could say the last couple of weekends on the patch have been a little bit special...unlike the photography!

First up was the Osprey on the 28th September, a welcome patch tick and was just the 4th record at Wanstead in recent times.
  1. One early morning over the Flats on the 7th September 2011
  2. One over the Flats on the 8th April 2014
  3. A single bird reported on the 13th April 2016 over the Esso Copse
Wanstead, London
Yes...that is an Osprey
Next up was the Marsh Harrier on the 5th October, yet another sought after raptor and patch tick. This was only the 6th record for Wanstead, the other five sightings are listed here.
  1. One over the Old Sewage Works on the 8th May 2011
  2. One from the Lake House scrub on the 26th August 2012 
  3. One on the 20th March 2013
  4. A juvenile over Long Wood on the 27th August
  5. A female circling over Jubilee Pond on the 5th October 2018
Wanstead, London
From the heavily cropped photos it look as this bird was 1st-winter or female Marsh Harrier
Wanstead, London

And just to add to the record shot bonanza, here's the Jack Snipe I found on the 5th October, not a patch tick but a year tick this time and only my 3rd ever record at Wanstead. This was the 8th record for the patch of this scarce winter visitor.
  1. One on Heronry on the 26th October 1979
  2. One on Alexandra Lake on the 5th February 2012
  3. One near Alexandra Lake on the 29th September 2013
  4. One near Alexandra Lake on the 23rd September 2014
  5. One on Angel Pond on the 6th December 2014
  6. One on Alexandra Lake on the 22nd October 2016
  7. A bird flew onto Jubilee Pond on the 27th February 2018
Wanstead, London

Wanstead, London

Wanstead, London

As it currently stands my Wanstead list now sits on 144 with the Year List moving onto 105. I thought I wouldn't top last years 109 but as we enter the last weeks of autumn and head into the final winter months of 2019 - can I get five more ticks to get me 110? Well...If the last couple of weeks are anything to go by then I've got every chance.

Saturday, 21 September 2019

A Little Bit of Quality

As we enter the 2nd half of September the quantity of passage migrants is starting to dry up on the patch, but there are still quality birds to be found with singles today of Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher, Whinchat and Wheatear. Today's Pied Fly was my 3rd this autumn and continues the great run of these birds stretching back to the 11th August. Wheatears on the other hand have been low in number throughout spring and autumn with a peak of 12 on the 29th August, this has been reflected by the number of photos I've used this year of Wheatear on the blog...just two (including this one) I'm aiming to put that right next year!

An early morning Wheatear along the Ditch of Despair

Friday, 13 September 2019

Wanstead August Stats

20 records of Pied Flycatcher, 29 records of Common Redstart, 41 records of Tree Pipit...the numbers don't lie - by all accounts it's been an excellent August for common passage migrants passing through Wanstead Flats, confirming what we all already know that Wanstead really is one of London's prime locations for connecting with spring and autumn migrants.

None of this data would be possible without the continuing efforts of a small band of Wanstead regulars who diligently work the patch, with a special shout out to Nick Croft who pounds the well trodden paths for many hours, most days.

Thursday, 5 September 2019


Waders are revered at Wanstead and Greenshank had only ever been recorded by team Wanstead (well Nick) as a rare flyover, so for the team to see one on the deck and feeding in the shallows of Heronry Lake is just a little bit special and what a great way to bring up the 100 for the year on the patch.

Wanstead, Wader, Autumn Passage

Wanstead, Wader, Autumn Passage

Wanstead, Wader, Autumn Passage

Wanstead, Wader, Autumn Passage