Wanstead Patchwork: Part XIII (Grip* Gropper)

Wanstead Flats has come alive in April. Collectively, the local birders have now seen 106 species of bird this year so far, with some of the most dedicated guys approaching 100 in their personal patch year lists – I am on 74, which is only just about respectable as I only make it out on to the patch about once a week.

New migrants are appearing regularly, with the highlight being the extraordinary-voiced Grasshopper Warbler (affectionately known as a ‘Gropper’). I spent a couple of hours on the evening of the day it was seen, hoping to hear it sing as darkness came, but with no luck.

I did, however, get to see another rare visitor – A Red-legged Partridge has spent a few days on the patch which is the first time in several years:

Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa)

Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa)

RLP

A more frequently visiting migrant has also delighted the birders with its first appearance this year so far:

Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra)

Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra)

The recent spate of summery weather, coupled with the arrival of so many migrants really has lifted spirits amongst the birders. My own bird surveying work, as well as that of some of my colleagues, has shown that Chiffchaff and Blackcap numbers are going through the roof…

Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)

Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)

And we also now have a few singing Willow Warblers arriving:

Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)

Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)

Here are a few more Spring-sights from the patch:

Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)

Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)

Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)

Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)

A parakeet almost too fat for its front door (parakeets do not make their own holes and this one has squeezed into a woodpecker hole):

Ring-necked Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)

Ring-necked Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)

Butterflies are now out in force:

European Peacock (Aglais io)

European Peacock (Aglais io)

Comma (Polygonia c-album)

Comma (Polygonia c-album)

Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)

Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)

*To grip (off): To see a bird which another birder missed and to tell them you’ve seen it.

Advertisements

One thought on “Wanstead Patchwork: Part XIII (Grip* Gropper)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s