Monday, 15 April 2013

Migrantastic London 'Fall'

I hadn't planned to go birding this morning, but all that quickly changed when I received a message from the 'Wanstead faithful' reading there had been a 'fall' of Wheatear on the Flats, with up to twenty birds on site - wow! Not wanting to miss that spectacle I dashed to the Flats knowing that I had about an hours window - but what an hour that was to become!

After picking up my first Common Whitethroat of the year en-route to the Broom Fields, it was instantly clear that far more Phyllo's were about than yesterday, with Chiffchaff calling in almost every piece of scrub. I reached the Broom Fields and the messages were true - it was dripping with Northern Wheatear, with at least twenty five birds, probably more, on every grassy tussock and mound!

Meeting up with Mr Croft who had already bagged a Common Redstart and Whinchat, I was keen to move on and cover as much ground as possible, with one eye on the time I frog marched to the Alex scrub picking up a smart spring male Whinchat on the way - no chance of any images it was far to flighty, but within minutes of reaching the scrub I had soon found the female Common Redstart fly catching in the sun - perfect.

Birds, Birding, London

Birds, Birding, London

No real time to stop and enjoy the bird I headed quickly back across the Flats briefly stopping in the Broom Fields again to look at the amazing Northern Wheatear spectacle, when a Ring Ouzel flew straight over me, landing briefly in the Hawthorn, before flying on to one of the wooded copses - this was getting better and better.

Birds, Birding, London
Record shot for Mr Lethbridge and Mr Galley Head Birding ;-)
Continuing on through the Broom Fields and cutting up through Long Wood the sight of another red flick of the tail in the scrub ahead 'BINGO' - a  stonking male Common Redstart! Not much can beat the sight of a spring male - I'll let the images do the talking...

Birds, Birding, London

Birds, Birding, London
What a cracker!
What an hours birding...and reading all the accounts of birds seen in London today, it seems as if London as a whole has had one amazing 'fall' of migrants with some fantastic numbers reported across many sites in the region - I was just happy/lucky to have been amongst it for a short time.

I couldn't not finish this post without an image of one of the Northern Wheatears from today.

Birds, Birding, London





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