Friday, 13 April 2018

Ring Ouzel: Walthamstow Wetlands

After a 10.6 million pound investment by the London Wildlife trust, Waltham Forest Council, Thames Water, and the Heritage Lottery Fund, Walthamstow Reservoirs has been revamped and renamed.  known now as Walthamstow Wetlands it's reputed to be Europe's largest urban wetlands reserve.  The reserve is free to enter but if visiting by car there are varying car park tariffs dependant on how long you stay. 
It opened to the general public in October of last year and it doesn't seem to have had any detrimental effect on the quality of birds seen. Since the new year Little Bunting, Bluethroat, and Hoopoe have all been seen. 
Another quality bird was reported today, this time it's a Ring Ouzel. Present for the third day it had been showing well on the 11th then elusive on the 12th. With an early report this morning we decided to pay the site a visit. We headed for the old pump engine building (now visitor centre and cafe). The bird had been frequenting an area favoured by the Little Bunting between some concrete blocks and the start of East Warwick Reservoir. After a brief search, the Ring Ouzel flew in from behind us and landed on the short cropped grass to feed. It fed for a short time then flew to nearby trees and bushes either side of the footpath

A walk around Reservoirs 1-5 failed to locate any Yellow Wagtails but did produce double figures of White Wagtails along the causeway of reservoirs 4 & 5. Hirunndines were scarce, in fact so scarce we didn't see any! Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were vocal in several areas as were Sedge Warblers and the trees along the causeway of reservoirs 1, 2 and 3 produced several Brambling.

On the way home, we dropped in at KGV Reservoir and watched a single Swallow before leaving the car park. As we headed up the slope a male Wheatear appeared on the grass and then made use of the fence posts.

A scan from the Southern end of South basin added another year tick in the form of two Arctic Terns. While a scan from the sailing club hut added 5-6 more Arctic Terns three Common Terns and a single Little Gull. 

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