Almost 4 weeks into Lockdown and another 3 at least ahead and my world has become rather small; The house, the shops and Walthamstow Marshes have basically been my map. Ive been spending my daily exercise quota less than 10mins away on the Marshes from 6.30 am – 09.00 am and apart from a few nice migrants its has been fairly quiet as Aprils go. Clear nights, a super moon and a large high pressure over most of the uk haven’t been conducive for bringing down migrants in London really but theres been a small trickle.
Wheatears were slow to start after an early bird at the end of March but have been present on and off in the paddocks the past few days.
Willow Warblers have been very thin on the ground, I had a day with 6/7 birds singing and another day seeing one bird around the 6th April. Their much looked forward to song has been missed most mornings.
A good spring for Rooks locally with 4 birds seen by myself and more reported by others.
Same goes for numbers of Red Kite locally, I think Ive had about a dozen sightings between my skylight at home and the Marsh. I think its reflective of something that goes on generally with Red Kites in the south east at this time of year rather than these being continental birds.
Yellow Wagtails have been observed in fairly decent numbers with birds seen almost every day on the paddocks in ones and twos. Ive also seen 2 smart white Wagtails during april.
Local breeders such as Common and Lesser Whitethroats are in good numbers respectively and are both vocal around the marsh, as are many Sedge and a few Reed warblers.
Im now up to date with all three Hirundines and had my first local Swift on the 13th (!) moments after a Pair of Bar-tailed Godwits flew low and north over the reservoirs. Another 4 Barwits flew NE on the morning of the 20th, having only seen a couple of flyovers before this has been a good spring for this species – northerly breeders that I very much like seeing in London along with Arctic terns and Whimbrel which are hopefully yet to come. On the subject of waders I had a Green sandpiper fly over calling on the 11th.
This female Common Redstart was present on the Marsh on the 16th, strangely its been the only reported in London this spring so far. An enjoyable bird!
I missed a Cuckoo on the 19th and the reservoir has had a few Little Gulls through, something I will have to miss out on mid week as work hours stop me getting up there.
Expectations are fairly low with the high pressure set to continue for the next week but I will be out every morning either way.