I found a Siberian ChiffChaff at Walthamstow Reses on the 27th of last month whilst out with the other local lads. It wasn’t until a few days later that I heard it call,( which it did so 5 or 6 times), each time a highpitched “eeeiiip!’ and strangely only during brief rain showers. Ive seen it again most mornings and noticed its also undergoing body moult, a real good signifier for Tristis at this time of year. More (and better) pics to follow hopefully. But the below pic shows the white underparts, buff (not yellow) super, rusty toned ear coverts. The yellow and green tones were exclusively in the wing and tail and a little around the alula. Other people have seen and heard it and Pete Lambert has actually heard the bird singing as Siberian Chiff, Something i’d describe as a fast jingling of chiff type notes mixed with many alternating higher and lower syllabels. this is the second Siberian Chiffchaff Ive found that has ended up staying around long enough to get some song in before leaving as the waterworks bird did the same in 2016. Paul and I also had a first winter Caspian Gull on the Coppermill filterbeds that day.
With the arrival of March and early opening times at Walthamstow Ive been walking around the Lockwood before work hoping to see an early Wheatear or Sand martin but also there are good numbers of Gulls loafing on the NW bank. The below 2nd winter Caspian Gull bombed past me, looked good in brief fly by but it wasn’t till I got home and processed the images that I noticed the small mirror on p10 confirming the ID.
Other birds of note this week have been a Rook calling and circling the Lockwood before drifting NW and a Skylark over N this morning too. There are Green Sandpipers around in the Channel, a few Goldeneyes displaying, 3/4 singing Cetti’s Warblers and a flock meadow c15 pipts loitering on the Lockwood banks. Long tailed tits seem to be concentrating on nest building but this one posed nicely for me
Possibly my final weekend of Thames gulling as I’m away on the weekends now till April. Irish birder Niall Keogh was visiting London and keen for some Caspian and Yellow legged gulls so joined a mob of gullers; myself, Rich Bonser, Dante, Dave Johnson and Martin Hallam. Yellow Legs were the highlight of the day for me.
This giant 1st winter Casp hung around the bread at the Thames barrier, Lovely legs and wings but feather wear let it down abit, but its march and to be expected.