According to the calendar its mid April and to be fair its not been bad as London goes for my early morning walks with a trickle of all three hirundines each day, a smattering of White Wagtails (high count of 14 on one day)and one or two of Yellow Wagtail and a few Wheatear (all pictured below). Willow Warblers are singing in ones and twos but Blackcap remains the only Sylvid I’ve seen or heard thus far and no Reed or Sedge either.
The weather though has been so murky and dark that I’m not getting that optimism that usually accompanies these birds at what is my favourite time of the year in London birding terms. A surprise singing Skylark mid week was contrary to the weather and only the second i’ve heard on the patch and one, possibly two Sandwich Terns flew up the Lockwood early in the week.
Every passage I have this little nagging thought in the back of my head about Ring Ousels. I’ve lived in this part of London for 13 years ad they have avoided me each passage for that entire time. They’re a bird I see every year up north or on passage elsewhere but theyre one of my favourtie birds and missing them on my own patch has been a sore spot for a long time until now.
I think it was GJ who found it originally, its one of the tamest Ring Ousels I’ve ever encountered and as i type this its present for its third day in the same fairly busy spot. Incredible birds and my highlight of the spring so far! (despite adding Serin to the patch list and watching the Little Bunting coming into brighter garb)
Another bonus this week was a small flock of Brambling around the fisherman’s hut and along the central path. Up to 8 birds and one or two very smart males included seem to be feeding on insects high up, PW and I heard a bird singing too!
I should also mention the incredible run that Walthamstow has had this year with Little Bunting, Serin, Blue Throat and then Hoopoe!, Its the best run of an inland site for a while surely!? I’m deeply pained to miss the bluethroat (well done David B) but not the Hoopoe so much as I found one mid April 2015 on the waterworks during abit of a south coast influx, below is my panicked shot from that morning.