London Natural History Society The place for wildlife in London

London Natural History Society - The place for wildlife in London

Essex compiled by Howard Vaughan

RSPB Rainham Marshes

Five Russian White-fronted Geese got the month off to a great start on the 3rd and they were seen intermittently until the 13th. A single Brent Goose was seen on several dates and four more were on the river on the 15th while a little flurry of Egyptian Geese sightings culminated in five on the 10th. The first Oystercatcher of the year came back on the 3rd and the Avocet flock lingered till mid-month while Black-tailed Godwits became more visible on the marsh with up to 300 at high tide. Jack Snipe started to appear too and late February through March is the best time to look for bobbers. At least two Short-eared Owls lingered and four Marsh Harriers, Peregrines, Buzzards and Ravens were daily as usual but the only Merlin sighting was of a young male on the 22nd. Another Little Gull (9th) was seen and Med Gulls were noted on the 21st and 23rd and several 1st winter Caspians were picked out but no white wingers. Our Waxwing stayed until the first and three Blackcaps were on their apples from the following day. Bearded Tits also came back from the 17th and the first Brambling and Siskin for the year were picked up while at least four Water Pipits were still around the pools.

Metropolitan Essex (LHNS area)

Waxwings were ever popular in February starting with 46 around Collier Row on the 1st with 30 still in Harold Hill the same day. Around 50 moved between various sites in Hornchurch for the remainder of the month clearing the remaining berries. Bramblings were seen in the Ingrebourne Valley, Highams Park and up to 13 were around Chindits Lane in Warley while Firecrests remained at Warley, Bedfords Park, Woodford Green and Warren Gorge. Two Bitterns at last made an appearance in the Ingrebourne Valley with another in Warren Gorge (8th) and the usual Seventy Acres bird in the Lee Valley where up to four each of Smew and Goosander were seen. The goosefields at Fishers Green attracted 14 Russian White-fronts on the 7th with three staying till the 18th. A Great Egret was seen in the Mardyke (8th) and the male Scaup remained throughout on Walthamstow Reservoir with Black Redstart (2nd), Caspian Gull (26th) and Siberian Chiffchaff (26th-27th) adding interest. The nearby KGV had a Black-necked Grebe on the 12th and the Girling still had seven Black-necks and the Slavonian Grebe the following day. Up to 14 Goosanders were seen at Weald Park and the Red Kite there on the 10th was one of six or so sightings locally. About ten different Caspian Gulls were again seen along the Thames between Creekmouth and Leamouth along with the several Mediterranean and Yellow-legged Gulls. Other Meds were noted in South Park, Walthamstow Reservoir and on Wanstead Flats. Two Short-eared Owls remained at Fairlop Waters CP and another was in the Ingrebourne on the 24th. Wintering Common Sandpipers were seen on the Reservoirs, Bow Creek and at Creekmouth and seven Turnstones were at Grays on the 3rd. Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers started to become vocal with reports from three different sites.