Sunday, 11 August 2019

The Arrival of Autumn

I've done very little birding on the patch through the summer months as I do my best to try and avoid the area, as sadly Wanstead becomes a magnet for all kinds of characters and activities - all attracted by the long days and good weather. But in recent weeks I've slowly started to build up my visits again - not that I've seen a great deal (Common Sandpiper is about the only bird of note) but today felt a little different, and was the first time it actually had that autumnal feel about it. There were good numbers of Phylloscopus Warblers in the SSSI with an arrival of at least 6 juvenile Willow Warblers, this was later trumped when I found a smart Pied Flycatcher amongst a movement of birds all favouring the sheltered and sunlit east side of Motorcycle Wood. My first autumn Wheatears had also arrived with two birds in the Brooms/Football Pitches.

Autumn, Wanstead, London
Always flighty and difficult to pin down but a Pied Fly was nice addition to the year list
Butterflies, Wanstead, London
Brown Argus Butterfly
Autumn, Wanstead, London
A Wheatear is always a welcome sight 
On the Gull front it was good to see my first returning Common Gull another sign that autumn is now here, and there was also a 2nd-summer Yellow-legged Gull amongst the gull roost on the Football pitches - only my second record this year. As yet there have been no juvenile arrivals but as Yellow-legged Gull numbers along the Thames corridor continue to increase I'm sure it will only be a matter of time.

2nd-summer, Gulls, Wanstead, London
2nd-Summer Yellow-legged Gull