Wednesday 11 April 2012

Common Redstart on Wanstead Flats

The news, in brief, is that spring may have started in Wanstead. Now it's early days, and I don't want to hex it, but this morning was a welcome change (Ring Ouzels aside) from the interminable mornings out there seeing nothing at all. I met Nick relatively early, and it wasn't at that stage looking good. Alex had been devoid of avian life, bar a probable Yellow Wag overhead somewhere that I was forced in good conscience to let go, and I was still no hirundines to the good. Things picked up with a Wheatear, then three, near the model aircraft field, and Nick's keen eyes picked up a Swallow heading north over the fair. By now homeward bound, I checked the SSSI and was pleased to hear the descending chimes of a Willow Warbler. All previous times that I thought I might have detected Willow Warbler, intense listening has only come up with snatches of Blackcap, I don't know whether this is a common problem?

I returned home on top of the world, and by 8am was happily working away. Massive spreadsheet fun. Then a text from Tim that he had found a male Common Redstart in Long Wood. Hurrah! Naturally I hustled over there, jogged in fact, didn't know I could. Redstart - magnificent - snaffled, and then back to work, with another Willow Warbler on the way. Birds don't come much better than male Redstarts really, and whilst annual, a spring bird is always a bonus. A full and productive day then ensued with no further bird disturbances, bar a large raptor over the park somewhere that anguished fellow patch-workers didn't see enough of, and I didn't see at all, despite looking longingly out of the window.

As my working day was nearing conclusion, Barry called - he who pillaged Wheatears in mid-March - with news of not one but two Common Redstarts now in Long Wood. Muffin and I grabbed a camera and hurried over there. Try as I might I could never quite get close enough, but you get the idea....


1 comment:

  1. For me,the best looking of the spring migrants(the Redstart).