Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Last Oenanthe this spring

With spring migration virtually over - Wanstead already has that feel of mid-summer about it. I've turned my attention to a couple of other local sites I like to keep my eye on.

Firstly Rainham Marsh, I'm a big fan of the reserve and it's a great place to catch up with our usual marsh habitat summer migrants; Hobby, Cuckoo, Reed, Sedge and Grasshopper Warbler, but I always feel it should attract a bit more, and on many occasions I've left the reserve feeling a bit disappointed. Having spoken with Howard Vaughan it's also been a poor spring for passage waders, the water levels have looked good but the birds just haven't arrived, and the ones that have, didn't stay very long - lets hope the reserve can have a change in fortunes this autumn.

The other place is KGV reservoir, as a permit holder I enjoy access to this site. This is another place which should be a real magnet for birds, but again I feel it under performs, this differs from Rainham as it suffers from being under watched - on the odd occasion I do visit, I rarely see another soul. There are a few regulars which cover the area but with two expansive areas of water to check, along with scrubby pockets of habitat which run alongside the river also worth a look, it's no surprise that stuff gets missed - I recently circumnavigated just the south basin and timed my walk at around 90 minutes, which goes to show the size of the area.

Being at the peak of Red-necked Phalarope passage I was checking and hoping one had dropped in at the reservoir - sadly not this time, and the only bird of note was a female Northern Wheatear - I thought I'd seen the last of these locally this spring, so I had no complaints about seeing just one more.

Female, KGV Reservoir, London

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